If you have been on this blog for any amount of time you know that I home-school my two oldest children. What you may not know is the reason that they are home-schooled. My daughter was bullied, mercilessly, and on a daily basis. She would come home fro school in tears daily. It started from Kindergarten and the straw that broke the camel’s back is when the teachers and her bus driver started giving her grief. I chose to take her and her brother out of school for their mental well-being. No child should be scared to go to school. Before I get started I want to let you know that these are just my opinions and tips on how to approach the subject of bullying with your child(ren).
Know The Warning signs:
- Unexplainable injuries
- Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
- Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
- Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
- Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
- Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
- Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
- Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
- Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide
Courtesy Of: StopBullying.gov
Sometimes kids are just too scared to talk to anyone about the bullying. They may feel ashamed or even think that it is their fault. They could also be scared to tell on the other child(ren) for fear of retaliation. I was lucky that my daughter openly discussed the who’s and why’s with me.
I know that is easier said than done, believe me. You just discovered that your child is in pain, whether it be emotional or physical. You want nothing more than to confront the guilty party, I made that mistake. The truth is that the moment that you freak out your child will follow suit. Stay calm, if you need to take a few moments to collect yourself tell your child that you need a moment. The thing that your child needs most from you right now is for you to be calm and supportive.
Come Up With A Plan
After you and your child have talked about the situation and have calmed down you both need to agree on a plan of action. You may want to rush to the school the next day and have it out with all parties involved but that sometimes will make things worse. What You Need To Know:
- Did your child ask the other child to stop?
- If so, did they?
- If they did not, was a teacher notified (by your child)?
- Did the teacher reprimand the other child?
- What happened after? Did they stop?
Once you have the answer to these questions you both can come up with a plan of action. If all of the above have already occurred then the next logical step would be to inform the principle. The principle may contact the child’s parents and has the authority to suspend the student for their behavior. What ever you decide to do make sure that your child is in agreement to it.
Reassure Your Child
My daughter thought that it was her fault. She thought that it was the way she looked or her clothes that made these children bully her. It took a long time for her to finally come to the realization that it was not her fault and that some people are just mean. I tried to tell her that the child(ren) involved may be so unhappy with themselves that the only way for them to feel better about themselves is to bring others down. I also told her that many times the behavior is learned from their parents or care-givers. The reality is these children often emulate what they see at home because they think that this behavior is normal.
I wish I could say that at some magic age all the bullying stops. The sad reality is that even as adults we can and are still bullied. I get “mom shamed” on a regular basis. Being on social media as much as I am, for blogging purposes, I encounter bullying still. So I try to teach my kids how to deal with it and move on. Don’t let the negatives impact the positives in your life. I use the ignore, block, delete tactic when dealing with a cyber bully. I refuse to give an individual the power over me and my life. That is what i am teaching my children as well. A bully is simply trying to break you down. smile at them, wish them well and walk away and you have taken their power away from them. I hope that you enjoyed this post. If you found this information useful please share with your friends.