Have your children developed a sudden fear of going to school?
If that’s the case, you need to be sure that no one is physically hurting them or persistently being nasty to them, then you need to get informed on what to do. The best way to help your child? prepare her ahead of time to be able to react when bullies approach her at school or the playground
Children worry about telling someone because they fear repercussions, that the bullying might increase because of pointing it out or reporting it. They also fear that grown-ups might ignore them, not believe them or even worse, accuse them of lying.
As a parent, you can make yourself available, listen and acknowledge the situation. You can also initiate a discussion by using storytelling. For example, you can talk about a friend or a celebrity you read about in a magazine whose child was bullied. You can use figures or other characters to act out the wrong behaviour and ask young children what they think about each scenario. This would give them the chance to speak up if it ever happened to them.You can also ask them to draw or paint their superhero. What powers does it have? How small is it on the page? What power do they want it to have? What difference would that make?
Sadly, it happens to most children at one time or another, so sharing these tips with them now will prepare them to confront a bully.
Here’s what you need to tell your child:
- It’s not about you. Yes, it probably seems like it is, but it isn’t. Those children are bullying is that they might have issues. They may be being bullied at home, feel insecure, feel low self-worth. They need help to deal with their problems, and teasing you is never the answer, so you should inform your teacher.
- Tell them to stop, to go away, and leave you alone. Stand firm and speak up for yourself. Feeling safe at school is a right! Anyone who puts your child in the position to defend themselves is in the wrong. You should make this clear.
- You will be less of a target for the bully when you act calmly, stand tall and still and give confident eye contact to show them you are not a victim. Bullies tend to pick on children they believe are weaker and unlikely to fight back. Yes, you may be panicking inside, but take a deep breath and imagine a solid tree that can’t be removed. It’s called ‘being grounded’.
- Remind yourself of who you are, your skills and qualities, and what’s important to you. You can build your self-esteem by putting your hand up more in class, asking questions, making new friends, playing your sports with enthusiasm, and working hard. This inner confidence will show in your outside appearance, which will deter bullies from picking on you.
- When you feel scared that you might be bullied, it shows in your breathing, affecting your voice, so it comes out a bit squeaky or sounds strange. It won’t show confidence, which is much needed when someone is thinking of bullying you. Instead, take some deep breaths – breath in for 5 and out for 5. Do this three times. You’ll find that when you speak now, your voice sounds more confident, and when you tell the bully to go away, your voice will sound like you mean it.
- No one has to right to do you any harm, and you never start a fight! But, if the bullying persists after reaching out to an adult, defend yourself with all your heart!