How To Help A Bullied Child
“ I was made fun of for my buck teeth almost every day back in school. People always would find it entertaining to tell me how unattractive I was. Guys would compare me with other girls and humiliate me because I apparently did not meet the universally accepted definition of beauty. These had become a daily routine in my life till I got my braces on in my college. But the story did not come to an end. Even in college, I got bullied and this time because of my braces. This triggered my mental health. I was slowly going into depression, I lost my appetite, and eventually, my health deteriorated. I was forced to become a girl with zero confidence and negative self-esteem.”
- A 24-year-old
Bully, a very regular word these days. It is an act of dominating someone with aggressive behavior. It can happen in schools, colleges, workplaces, social media or even at home inside a family. Bullying results due to the oppressor’s perception of disparity of power between him/her & others.
Various types of bullying
Threatening, teasing or taunting, passing harsh comments is known as verbal bullying. Hurting or torturing someone physically, destroying someone’s possession, touching someone inappropriately or without their consent is physical bullying. Psychological bullying is a case of purposefully hurting someone, which can have an emotional impact that could linger for life. There will be bullies targeting and destroying someone’s social relationships by spreading rumors. It is also known as relational or social bullying. Cyberbullying attacks someone with mean texts, emails, images, videos etc., using digital/social media platforms. A child could be a victim of any such misfortune.
Take notice of the signs
Children may not consciously share what’s going wrong as they think of being guilty themselves and not the victim. Thus, it becomes the duty of the parents to keep a watch on their behavior and take notice of the early signs. Incomprehensible bruises, scratches or cuts, playthings going missing or broken, start faking sickness to avoid going to school, falling ill frequently, eating habits & sleep routine changing drastically, losing interest in making friends and other social interactions, maybe some signs suggesting the idea of the child getting bullied.
If your child is getting bullied by any chance, they must feel free to talk to you about the situation openly. Bullying is a broad issue with no thumb rule or universal approach to deal with, but the first aid is somewhat the same. Calmly listen to them and make them feel comfortable; getting angry might worsen the situation. Appreciate them for opening up to you; this will make them share every good and unfortunate situation they face in the future and won’t get ashamed. Assure them that neither did they do anything wrong nor are they alone. Together you will sort the problem out. Then you must seek help from the school authority, teachers, a counselor, or you can also confront the bully’s parents and family. Help them regain confidence by encouraging them to participate in different academic and extracurricular activities, follow a passion and polish their skills. Give them a “things to do” list for instances if they get bullied again, like - not reacting to the bully rather asking him to stop the nuisance; leaving the toxic place if he still continues to; asking for help from an elderly person like a teacher.
Bullying is not a one-time act. It tends to get repeated in regular intervals. Ideally, parents must communicate with their child every fortnight to reassure them that things are going well with them. To uproot the bully culture, parents in the first place teach their child never to bully anyone. Moreover, be the guardian angel for people they find struggling to get rid of such filth. Mahatma Gandhi’s quote correctly fits in, that goes like“ BE THE CHANGE THAT YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD.”
Keerti Pai is a passionate freelance content writer, a budding author, a busy homemaker and out of all the roles closest to her heart to be a doting mom to her two teenage kids.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store.