Bullying is a serious problem, especially for children, as they may not be able to respond or behave well when subjected to it. This is why it’s important to be able to identify signs of bullying in your child and how to help them.
Most children who are bullied may not speak up about it, even to their parents. By them bottling up negative feelings and not being able to express themselves so they can feel better, it can result in sadness, loneliness, isolation, difficulty making friends, as well as behavioural issues.
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Though the signs of bullying in children may seem quite obvious and you look at it from this perspective, it often goes missed by parents as they are also signs of children may demonstrate if they have behavioural issues. If any of the below behaviours are being shown to your child, you should strongly consider if they are experiencing bullying at school.
Common Signs of Bullying in Child
Here are common signs and behaviours children may demonstrate if they are being bullied:
1. Emotional changes
- Crying or tearing up without reason
- Has quick mood swings
- Becomes easily sad
- Becomes agitated easily
- Heightened aggression
- Becomes fearful
2. Physical signs
- Has unexplainable bruises, cuts or other injuries
- Is hungry, overly tired or restless after school
- Has missing or damaged clothing or belongings
3. Behavioural Changes
- A desire to skip school
- Changes their route to school
- Becomes scared to sleep at night or become vocal
- Easily gets in verbal or physical fights with others
- Difficulty socializing or making friends
- Withdraws themselves from family or social activities
- Grades begin to drop
- Takes out aggression through shouting or fighting their parents or siblings
- Becomes quiet, shy and shows introverted behaviour
What to do if Your Child is Being Bullied
1. Get your child to open up to you
This is the first and most important step and its important to make sure your child can recall any bullying events as detailed as possible and the names of the people who have bullied them.
It’s also important your child is very detailed with explaining their emotions and how they feel. This will help you understand how they are feeling, how to relieve it, as well as taking a heavy burden off your child’s shoulders.
2. Understand how to handle the situation yourself
If your child acts out on what they think is the best approach to stop or avoid bullying, most of the time it won’t work as they cannot think as subjectively or logically as an adult.
So the best way for you to help your child is to know what you are talking about yourself. In the UAE, there are many government support resources on child bullying that you can educate yourself on how to handle these matters.
3. Teach your child how to avoid bullying
After you understand the best course of action, teach your child what to do should they be confronted with bullying again. Ensure that they are always vocal to you about any confrontations and that it’s okay to tell you how they feel. It will also help them to feel more comfortable by telling them what they can do next time to prevent or end bullying.
4. Speak to the teacher and or school
Sometimes it may be difficult to bring up bullying matters to the school because you’re not too sure if they may have the same course of action as you. But remember, the school always wants what’s best for all the children and that schools in the UAE are all for anti-bullying.
For the benefit of other children and not just your own, it’s important to explain to the school the type of bullying that is occurring and who is responsible for it so they can make a collective effort to stop it effectively.
Keep in Mind
- With social media now becoming one of the main ways people engage with each other, it’s important to protect our children from cyberbullying and not only just from school. Not only in the UAE but all over the world, children have access to social media on their phones and computers. Make sure you know how to restrict them, ensure everything they are accessing is safe, and that the activities of bullying and abuse are avoided at all costs.
- If your child is the bully, we need to pay equal attention to them as we would if they were bullied. Children who bully others often have their motives for their behaviours and actions. Most children who bully others often do it for attention because they may have family issues at home include abuse, subject to violence, or being taught the wrong values. It’s important to make sure children are nurtured with love, care, positively reinforced for good behaviour as well as being taught the importance of not bullying others.
A child being bullied is a very serious matter and a lifetime of regret and consequences can be avoided as long as we support and guide our children through the struggles of bullying.
As a parent, we need to make it our priority to educate our children on how to handle bullying, the importance of being vocal about it, as well as teaching them why bullying is bad.
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