No parent likes to think about the possibility of their child being bullied, but the reality is that it is extremely common, with an incredible 160,000 children a day avoiding school due to the fear of bullying and 33% of children reporting experiences of school bullying.
These are incredibly sad statistics.
These kids exist in a constant state of fear of physical, verbal and emotional abuse.
Not only that, but as well as bullying victims, the act always involves a perpetrator and usually witnesses, so it’s very probable that you will have to face the issue in some capacity at some point.
So let’s talk about how you can help your child.
How to Support a Bullied Child
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How Does Bullying Impact a Child?
Children that do manage to attend class often experience high levels of anxiety and depression.
Over a long period of time, this heightened level of stress can have lasting effects that can be detrimental to a child’s development and outlook on life.
If left to fester and continue, bullying can impact them for the remainder of their lives.
Chronic experiences of bullying can have a catastrophic impact on a child’s self-worth and ability to trust others.
They can also have great difficulties bonding with others and creating positive relationships and sadly are at a greater risk of substance abuse.
In light of these facts, it’s clear that as parents, caregivers, and educators we need to take a proactive approach to prevent bullying from ever occurring.
It’s not always straightforward to identify a bully, so it’s helpful to be knowledgeable of other less clear signs.
How to Identify Bullying
The best thing you can do to help is to teach your own child how to identify bullying.
Explain to them how they can identify it when they witness it and not be scared to name it.
Educate them that when another individual invokes feelings of shame, guilt or makes them scared that they need to go away from that person and realize that the individual is a bully.
Encourage them to tell you if they ever feel like themselves or anyone else is being isolated from the group.
Explain to them that there is nothing wrong with them and that if they are ever being bullied; the bully is the one with the issues.
Typically, if a child is a bully, there is something adrift in that child’s life.
Frequently, this can be due to being a former victim of bullying themselves, or maybe they come from a dysfunctional household.
Often they are quite envious of their victims and are seeking validation from peers. Sometimes they may have issues dealing with their own feelings and therefore, their actions.
Emphasize to your child how much you love them and care for them. Highlight how much influence they have over their lives and how tough they are.
Encourage them to communicate with you by communicating with them.
Zero Tolerance for Bullying
If you discover your child is being bullied, reassure them that you will handle it and then proceed.
Have a talk with your child’s teacher and if you can the bullies parents. Every adult that has a role to play should be made alert to the issue and you should all aim to cooperate in order to resolve the problem.
If the conversation doesn’t seem to resolve the issue and the bullying continues, you will need to go up the ranks and make an appointment to see the principal.
In the meantime, you can instruct your child with sensible ways to deal with the bullying.
Firstly, tell them to avoid the person as much as they can and not to antagonize the assailant in any way.
You will then have to be prepared to go to battle for them and don’t give up until the issue is fully resolved.
Letting the bully win will only lead to more suffering for your child and when they see you making a stand for them, they will find the courage to stand up for themselves too.
How to Overcome Bullying
It’s not possible to be with your child 24 hours a day, therefore, it’s essential you teach them how to overcome bullying and beat it, even when the bully is right in front of them.
A great approach is to make your child feel courageous and strong in the face of bullies and that can easily be achieved through a role-playing game.
If they know exactly how to deal with the situation before it occurs, they will be ready to deal with bullying when and wherever it happens.
Provide a range of situations where bullying could occur, including the bus, walking home and so on, via the art of role-playing games.
As the parent, you act the role of bully and instruct your child how to react in a positive way.
This can really help them verbalize and communicate better when the times comes. If your child is a little passive and shy, then don’t worry, what’s essential is that they feel cared for and supported.
Instruct them to say confidently and clearly, “No, Stop it.”
Or perhaps “I am going to tell the teacher”, emphasize that this is never wrong if people feel scared.
Highlight that their opinion matters, bullying is always wrong and adults will always put a stop to it.
Everyone Involved can Help
If you have ended up here and think your child may actually be the bully, that doesn’t mean you have failed as a parent.
In effect, since you have come to that conclusion means you can be a big player in fixing it. You have the influence to put a stop to it and fast before anyone else has to suffer.
Be aware that you need to lay down the rules for your child and the potential consequences for breaking them. This will be positive for them and the child they bully.
You can even make a huge change if your child isn’t the bully or the victim; you simply need to teach them how to recognize bullying.
Encourage them to make a stand against anyone who partakes in bullying and to always inform an adult.
In reality, children can make a huge difference, since they often hold more influence over their peers than any adult does.
If no one makes a change, who will? We need to be prepared to stand up for our children and any other child who may be a victim of bullying. Don’t just wait for someone to speak out, be prepared to speak out on your own accord.
As a parent, it’s important to be as consistent as possible, in order to create a healthy living environment for you and your family. Of course, no plan is perfect, so occasional deviation is certainly permitted. Problems occur when inconsistency becomes more commonplace.
Being inconsistent affects your child in several ways. In addition, it teaches him (or her) that inconsistency is perfectly acceptable. This is something that you definitely don’t want to happen. Continue reading to learn more about how children can be affected when there is inconsistency in their lives.
Anxiety and Fear
Many children who don’t have parental consistency at home find themselves dealing with high levels of anxiety and fear. Much of it comes from not knowing the consequences of doing something wrong. Inconsistent rules are like a mystery. A child might expect a certain consequence for one of his actions. When the resulting consequences aren’t as expected, this generally causes anxiety and confusion.
Rebellious behavior is the result of many things. One of those things is ambivalence. When a parent doesn’t follow through on things or frequently breaks promises, this can result in rebellion. In turn, rebellion often leads to parental rejection, and the need for a child to get attention by exhibiting risky behavior as a means to convey feelings of anger and discontent.
Did you know that being inconsistent sometimes causes a role reversal between parent and child? It’s true! In this situation, the child typically sacrifices his or her own needs and effort to care for the emotional needs of the parent and other siblings, if applicable.
Is not uncommon for children in this setting to nurture parents. The reasoning behind this is to bond with the parent to gain trust and try to settle into an otherwise absent routine.
Insecurity and Confusion
In a home that lacks consistency, a child’s insecurity and confusion surfaces at a very early age. Lack of security in a child’s daily routine can be detrimental. It’s not uncommon for children like this to wonder if their parents will give them emotional support during troubling times.
Even things like mealtime and bedtime can get confusing in a household that has no real schedule. One night dinner may be served at 5 pm and the next night at 8 pm. Children need structure to thrive. Inconsistency and structure go together like oil and water. They simply don’t mix.
It’s worth mentioning that everyone, adults and children alike, receives inconsistent messages all of the time. The good news is that experts tell us that the human brain is meant to handle complexity. This means that many children do a better job of sorting out these somewhat fuzzy messages better than some people think.
Now that you’ve read the above, you may want to make a few changes. If so, just remember that there’s no reason to panic. You probably won’t need to overhaul your parenting methods completely. Depending on your situation, a few “consistency tweaks” will probably be all it takes. Not only will the future be better for your child, it’ll be less stressful for you as well.
Do you ever feel like the world we live in is constantly judging us? The fact is it’s true. We are guilty of it just as well as our neighbor or the stranger on the street. The world is not the same as when we were growing up. Most of us could walk to school, walk to town, ride bikes everywhere, ride around with friends, hang out at a friends house, vice-versa, sleep with our doors unlocked, etc without having to look over our shoulders or care what other people thought. The list is so long of things we remember growing up doing that in today’s world we can not and will not let our children do.
I want to share with you 10 things I will not teach my boys because I am not raising a bully but I am raising gentlemen, a husband, and a father.
Boys are your competition.
It’s okay to hide your emotions from girls or others.
Being smart or successful isn’t attractive.
Giving up is easier than trying your very best.
You are above girls and they must obey you.
You don’t have to apologize when you feel you haven’t done wrong.
You can’t always talk to Mom or Dad when you have a problem or just need to talk.
Using profanity makes you cool.
You don’t have to follow all the rules.
You don’t have to show adults and others respect.
I don’t want my boys thinking that any of these ten things I listed above are okay. The above will not make your son a man but a person who is selfish and probably won’t make it very far in the world with friends. I do not want my boys to think that boys are their competition at any point in their life. I want them to show their emotions and not bottle feelings away. It doesn’t make them any less of a boy or man not to show emotions but it does make them human.
I will not let me boys think they are above girls or women at any time because that is so untrue. They should treat the girls with respect and when dating or married treat her like a queen and never disrespect her. I never want my boys to think because someone tells them they can’t do something they can give up. I want them to always try their best and show respect to anyone they are around no matter the situation.
The last few are very important life skills to learn and live by.
Mom and Dad will always be there when he needs to talk.
Playing sports and competing against others is not about winning but trying your very best, learning to work with others on and off the field, showing respect for teammates and by following the rules given by authority.
When he does something wrong he needs to apologize and accept his mistake and that it will not happen again.
There are so many things I want to teach my boys instead of things I will not but I wanted to let other mothers know things that possibly they agree with about not teaching her son.
Do you want to share an idea of what you will not teach your son that I did not mention? I would love to hear and possibly add to this list for other moms to read as well. Feel free to comment below and also check out my other parenting articles.
Children are like snowflakes. No two are exactly alike. They come in all shapes and sizes, and all different personalities. Some are introverts, some are extroverts, and there is a vast spectrum of personalities in between. It is important for parents to remember that their children may not be like them and have their own unique personality is not only ok but very common and desirable.
Understanding who your child is as an individual will help you better parent them. Kids are uniquely themselves, and a one-size-fits-all method for parenting is generally not effective. The better you understand your child’s personality, the better you’ll understand what makes him or her tick. This allows us to know what motivates them, identify their strengths and weakness, and understand how they are likely to react to different situations.
While some temperaments are certainly more challenging than others, particularly when children are young, our children are each special and will have their own distinct personalities. It is important as parents that we avoid labeling them as one way or another and allow their personality to evolve and grow with them. We need to encourage this through healthy play that allows them to develop emotionally, physically, and mentally. Equally as important is remembering their personality is a result of both nature and nurture. They are born with certain dispositions, but through good parenting, guidance, and reinforcement, we can model and teach them other characteristics and qualities.
There are five primary indicators that can help understand who your child is, whether they are introverts, extroverts, overachievers, underachievers, happy-go-lucky, high-strung, and anything in between. In observing your child, pay close attention to how they manage these factors. They are your cues on how to parent, guide, and support them.
An intensity of reaction – Does your child respond intensely and passionately to every situation around them, or are they more low-key and take everything in stride?
Activity level – Is your little one moving full speed ahead at all times, or does she move about her activities at a leisurely pace and like to nap a lot?
Tolerance for frustration – This is the difference between the quick to anger/”I give up” to the “oh well, let’s try again” temperament.
Response to change – does the slightest change throw your child for a loop, or does he go with the flow and adjust easily to change?
Reaction to new people – Is your child shy around new people and hesitant to interact, or does he engage instantly and make friends quickly?
There are no rights or wrongs to these answers. Your response to them may have been wide and varied, and that is the key to understanding your child’s unique personality. These character traits are what make your child who he or she is. When we understand why they are the way they are, we can put ourselves in their shoes and better help them adjust their behaviors, adapt their feelings, achieve their goals, and cope with frustration.
Being unique is a gift. All children should know they are special and valued just the way they are. Understanding their personalities and providing guidance and structure accordingly will help discover their own individuality. No matter their personality type, when they have been encouraged to be themselves and taught to love themselves, children will thrive.
Just imagine you and your spouse rolled into three tiny human beings exploring the new world at full speed. These boys have so much energy that I’ve literally have asked them for just an ounce of that to keep up with them. That is what raising three boys is like. Time isn’t slowing down and you can’t get back a moments time. We just have to keep going and just try to keep up.
My oldest and youngest are so much alike some days I can’t stand it. There I said it. Yes, they drive me completely insane. There are days I just want to sit in my room and cry. The arguing and fighting are beyond anything I could have ever dreamed. So what do I do about it?
Literally the other night I broke down and just had enough. I told them two words, “I’m done.” Can you imagine the looks on their faces when I said that? My middle son asked me “what does that mean?” I said to him and his brothers “It means Mom is done arguing and fighting with you three, things are fixing to change around here starting now.” I got choked up saying that because I think all of my emotions had just been building and I was finally done with explaining myself to them and repeating for them to listen and do what I ask of them.
My husband and I literally ask three things of them. Just three. You have got to be thinking wow why can’t they do just those three things? Don’t worry your not the only ones thinking why can’t they do three simple things. The three things we ask of them each and every day is 1. Do your very best in school. 2. Do what we ask of them. 3. Get along with your brothers. Y’all this is the only three things we ask of them.
So why am I sitting here questioning my parenting? Why do I feel like I am failing at being their mother? Here is why? I’ve admitted this to them too because I felt it was time for them to understand why things have been so crazy. It’s because I wasn’t being consistent. I wasn’t following through with those three things. Since school started I was finding myself fighting with them to get their homework done, to read a book, to help around the house. Even during the summer months they watched TV, played in the pool, played outside, visited their grandparents, played their video games, we took them on vacation. All things we are supposed to let them do they did it. But I was still fighting with them constantly. From the time the sun comes up till the sun down and the other day I just finally had enough.
Do you ever just scroll through Facebook or read a blog where their family seems so “normal“? I’ve asked my husband and he has asked me the same thing for the past 7 or 8 years what are we doing wrong? It is easier to give into them, rather than deal with them sometimes. I told them and I am not sure I should’ve but I told them lately being their mom was no fun. I don’t enjoy getting on to them all the time, the constant fighting, repeating myself, begging them to help me around the house, study for the tests they have coming up, read their AR books, be nice to your brothers. I am a broken record and my record is worn out and doesn’t play anymore.
How am I going to be a mom to these three boys and raise them to be men one day? We started with different rules.
We’re starting over from scratch.
1. They will be told one time to do something and that is all. No more calling their names 4 or 5 times.
2. They will get along with their brothers because they love each other. That is what God expects them to do.
3. If they don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
4. Ask each other for help when needed.
5. They are to worry about themselves and not what their brother is doing wrong.
6. Manners will be used at all times. Including table manners.
We’ve taken everything away from them that we can. They won’t be getting any video games, friends over, playtime outside, visiting the grandparents, or buying them anything they want. At least not until we can get across to them that this is what is expected of them at all times, not just a day or a week but always the life around our house was going to be different.
All of this sounds so easy and we can’t figure out why they won’t just do it. I will keep everyone posted on how things are going. We are on day two right now and a little reminding has been had but we know things won’t change overnight but over time and that is what we are giving them time.
Hey, I’m Toni and I’m the mama of 3 Little Birds. I love Writing about Parenting, Health, Recipes and Crafts, the life of a Mum and more. Learn more about me here Grab a Tea or Coffee and come see what you find.