Bullying a Real Threat to Our Future
Children are the making of our future. They will grow to become the face of our country. Our most precious resource however can face some pretty significant struggles as they mature into the adults of tomorrow.
Parents do their best to make a safe environment for their children. Some go to all sorts of degrees to shelter and protect their children from the harsh nature of the world. Yet bullying still happens. Over the years bullying has come more into the lens of focus in society. Society has placed more emphasis on bullying and the affects it has on the victims. Schools have adopted strict policies to deal with this problem. However, it still happens every day.
So who is at risk to be bullied as a child?
No single factor can put a child at more risk to be bullied over another. The factors listed below do not guarantee that your child will be bullied:
- other peers see your child as being different examples would be your child is underweight, overweight, wears glasses, has a disability, wears different clothes from others, new to school, or does not wear popular clothing
- perceived as being weak
- has low self esteem
- has few friends and is seen as not being popular
- does not get along well with others, is antagonizing, can be seen as provoking, or as being popular with teachers (teachers pet, tattle tail)
So what are some of the signs to look for if your child is being bullied:
- unexplained injuries
- frequent headaches, stomach aches, feeling sick
- could fake illness to avoid going to school
- changes in eating habits, skipping meals or binge eating
- kids could come home starving because they did not eat lunch
- nightmares or difficulty sleeping
- loss of interest in school and declining grades
- avoidance of social situations and sudden loss of friends
- decrease in self-esteem
- reported feelings of helplessness
- self-destructive behaviors such as running away, self harm, or threats of suicide
If you suspect your child is struggling with being bullied try to open a dialogue with them about it. Children who are being bullied often feel helpless and that no one is able to help them. That it is their problem to face. Encourage your child that they can tell you anything and that you will not be mad at them. Children often fear that their parents will become upset with them over being bullied. This fear can be reinforced if parents become annoyed or frustrated with the situation. The child could attribute this reaction of the situation as being their fault. This could lead to future situations or incidents not being brought to the parents. So it is important that parents be supportive of their child. Parents should work to understand their child’s feelings, fears, and solutions to the bullying. This will not only strengthen the bond of the parents and child but will also encourage growth, problem solving, and maturing of the child’s feelings.
If you do not know what to do or how to help your child seek the help of a professional. Counselors can help not only your child but you as a parent progress beyond bullying.
If at any point in time your child is in danger or you know others are notify the authorities immediately.
There will be a series of posts covering topics related to bullying.