Last post we discussed the ways you can tell if bullying is happening and actions which can be taken by you as a third party parent. This week we discuss bullying from the victim's perspective...
Teaching your child safety strategies
Remember that hitting back is not a choice at school and shouldn't be encouraged. In a school with a "zero tolerance policy" for physical aggression, encouraging your child to hit back may just get him expelled.
Encourage your child to walk away and tell an adult if he feels someone is about to hurt him.
Talk about safe ways to act in situations that might be dangerous. For example, identify a "safe house" or store or where he can find sanctuary if pursued by bullies. Encourage him to walk with an adult or older child. Give him a telephone number of an available adult to call if he's afraid and needs help dealing with a bullying situation.
Teach your child how to report bullying incidents to adults in an effective way. Adults are less likely to discount a child's report as "tattling" if the report includes:
Nurturing your child's self-esteem
Educate your child about bullying and bullies. Help him put the problem in perspective and not take it personally.
Teach your child how to walk in a confident manner.
If needed, help him pay particular attention to personal grooming and social skills.
Identify and encourage your child's talents and positive attributes; doing so may help him better assert himself among his peers.
Encourage your child to make new friends. A new environment can provide a "new chance" for a victimized student, as he won't be subjected to the negative stereotype other classmates have of him. Encourage him to make contact with calm and friendly students in his school. Such action may require some assistance on your part, or perhaps a school mental health professional, to develop the child's skills at initiating contact and maintaining a friendship relationship. This is especially true if your child's learning problems make his social interactions difficult. Be sure to provide ongoing support and encouragement, because your child, due to earlier failures, will tend to give up in the face of even slight adversities.
Encourage your child to participate in physical training or sports, even if he's reluctant. Physical exercise can result in better physical coordination and less body anxiety, which, in turn, is likely to increase self-confidence and improve peer relationships.
Building a bully-free future
Even though bullying has existed in schools for decades, that is no excuse to continue to allow children to be bullied. Researchers have gained new understanding of the dynamics of bullying and the roles of all those involved. The long-term negative outcomes of children who are bullied are too serious to ignore. Parents and teachers hold the power to work together to put an end to bullying and provide a safe learning environment for all children. In many cases, it will be the parent who must take charge of bringing the bullying incidents to the attention of school authorities. Parents should expect full cooperation from the school to resolve the problem. The result of reducing bullying in our schools is an improved school environment that is friendly and welcoming to all students. In schools where children feel protected from bullying, they are free to spend their days learning, building friendships, and dreaming about all the possibilities for their lives.
Now the kids are back at school we thought we'd touch on a subject of concern to both parents and kids and something that can affect the kids for their whole lives - bullying ...
As there is a lot to this subject this blog post will be run over 2 weeks with Part 1 this week covering the introduction then -
The victim: signs and symptoms
A child who is a victim of bullying may display one or more of the following behaviours, particularly when at home:
What can parents of the victim do?
If you know or suspect your child is being bullied, but his school hasn't communicated with you about the situation, you should contact your child's teacher(s) right away. Keep in mind that your primary goal should be to get the school's cooperation to get the bullying to stop. Knowing your own child is being victimized can evoke strong feelings, but you'll get much more cooperation from school personnel if you can stick to the facts without becoming overly emotional. While you may want assurance that everyone involved is punished severely, try to focus on putting an end to the bullying!
Your Attitude and Actions
When should the victim's parents contact school authorities?
If the bullying occurs at school, then the main responsibility for achieving this goal lies with the school officials. It's important, however, that the parents of the victim collaborate with the school to implement an agreed-upon plan for solving the problem.
If your child has been the victim of bullying at school, here are some suggestions for reporting the problem to school authorities:
There are many benefits in your children attending different after school classes. Not only the obvious of course where they can enjoy activities they are keen to be part of but also as well as the physical and mental stimulation but there are also great benefits for development of your child’s social skills with both other children and adults.
Whatever type of activity or programme your child is offered an opportunity to interact with their peers in an environment different from the school or home set up.
A well run programme or activity will promote support, respect and cooperation between the participants. This can help your child grow in confidence and feel more secure about joining in a game, asking a question or starting a conversation.
Particularly if the class isn’t too large your child should get a certain degree of one on one attention.
If the activity is a physical one, eg soccer, touch, swimming, dance, etc this not only helps them keep fit and healthy but they will learn teamwork and fair play as well as good coordination skills!
If the activity is more creative based, eg theatre, music, arts and crafts, etc this will not only develop your child’s creative skills but also teach them problem solving skills.
Not only that spending time in an environment that shouldn’t offer your child any pressure is a great stress release – yes, nowadays, even our kids can feel stressed!
Encourage your child to try a variety of after school activities. If your child loves sport encourage music or art classes as well for variety or the creative child may just discover that dancing is a wonderful way for them to express that creativity.
This also encourages your child to discover new interests and develop a wide variety of talents and skills!
They come around four times a year and next thing you know holidays are here again! We keep you up to date on great holiday activities, school holiday programmes, different ways to keep the whole family entertained, also term time topics, and educational advice and support!