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.
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!