Bullying is a very rampant issue in schools. Most of the cases of bullying start as early as primary school.
According to a survey by the Singapore Children’s Society, bullying in Singapore tends to be recurring when not given much attention about once or twice a month. In addition, the bullies and the bullied are of the same age group, the same school and even in the same class.
So, what happens if your child is the victim of the school bully? How should you a parent approach this issue?
First, you need to know what equates to bullying. These are different ways your child might be bullied:
#1: Physical Bullying
- pushing, pinching or deliberately bumping the victim
- stealing or taking personal belongings of a person regularly
- inflicting physical abuse or assault on purpose
#2: Verbal Bullying
- spreading rumours, gossiping, name-calling, catcalling
- deliberately shaming or embarrassing an individual in public
- regular intimidation, personal remarks and insults against another person
#3: Social Bullying
- acts of verbal abuse done in the presence of other people
- Insulting or assaulting with the intention of shaming an individual in front of other people or the public
- posting rumours about a person online
- deliberately attacking a person through a status update
- creating content with the intentions of inflicting certain social damage on people
- using content and the profile of a person to pose with unacceptable behaviour
The most common type of bullying is name-calling and using vulgar languages to oppress victims.
It’s difficult to know when a child is being bullied at school. Always keeping an eye on your child might not allow you to identify signs of bullying. But, in a step-by-step process, you can help your child and eradicate bullying.
Here’s what you can do in these circumstances:
1. Know The Signs Of Bullying In Your Child
Here are some signs that your child is being bullied in school:
- Resists going to school
- Insists being dropped off right at the door of the classroom
- Avoid eye contact with some or certain kids at school
- Irritation and mood swings at home
- Unexplained anger or sadness
- Shows fear or are quiet when asked why they are bothered
- Turns to aggressive behaviour towards siblings or parents
- Shows signs of inferiority or superiority complex
- Unexplainable bruises, scratches or cuts
- Exclusion from social groups at school
- Avoids speaking or talking in public or to particular people
2. Make An Action Plan To Handle The School Bully
A parent’s role in the lives of children is very important for their growth and development. Being actively involved in their development is one way of making sure the circumstances of bullying can be prevented.
Educating yourself and creating action plans will allow you to pen down your thoughts and approach this issue rationally. These are some pointers to include in your action plan.
- Identify the signs of being bullied in your child.
- Earn your child’s trust to share or open up to you.
- Get in touch with their school and teachers to make sure you are up to date on reports and feedback of your child.
- Speak to the responsible authorities such as the form teacher, other subject teachers and the school head for a report and an extended action plan.
- Speak to the parents of the school bully.
- Create a comfortable and pleasing environment for your child at home.
- Remind your child they are loved and protected.
- Inform your child they have the voice to report any bullying incidents.
3. Provide The Support Your Child Needs
No parent wants their child to be oppressed or assaulted. As the process of learning your child’s situation in a bullying scheme, helping your child recover from bullying is equally important.
Here are some ways to support your child needs:
- Give them strength by offering moral support, understanding their behaviour and being there for them when they are troubled.
- Show them that you are on their side. Listen and understand their concerns.
- Make sure your child trusts you. This way, should bullying happen to them again, they can approach you and confide in you.
- Teach them to report to teachers or people in charge at school should they encounter another bullying incident.
- Praise your child when they achieve small victories in school.
- Engage your child in role-playing. Teach them to respond in positive ways such as walking away, reporting to the teacher or telling the school bully to stop what they are doing.
In A Nutshell…
Dealing with bullying among kids is probably one of the hardest tasks to handle. The best way to handle any situation as a parent is to do the right thing, even when it is hard to digest.
Your child will always be your child, and you can love them dearly. Even if they do end up being a school bully or being bullied in school, love them but also be responsible for their well-being and proper development.
What are your personal bullying experiences you faced with your child? How would you suggest to deal with the school bully? Share your concerns with us!