How to talk to your children about bullying.
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I chose the topic ”Bullying” because I know a couple of children who used to get bullied and I noticed that it is a very common issue nowadays and can unfortunately cause a lot of harm to a child’s psychological and physical health.
What is bullying?
You can usually identify bullying through these three characteristics:
A bully intends to cause pain, either physical harm, or hateful words and behavior and does so repeatedly. Children who bully usually come from a perceived higher social status or position of power.
Bullying can exist in many forms:
1- Physical: (pushing, punching, or hitting)
2- Verbal: (name-calling, or threats)
3- Psychological and emotional: (spreading rumors or excluding someone from a conversation or activity).
Why should I interfere if my child is being bullied?
Bullying can have harmful consequences on the long run, aside from the physical effects of bullying, children may experience emotional and mental health problems including depression and anxiety that can lead to substance abuse and decreased performance at school.Your child has the right to stay in a safe, nurturing school environment that respects their dignity.
Starting with prevention
How can I help prevent bullying in my child's school?
The first step to dealing with bullies is by knowing your child is a victim, and by making sure your child know the issue.
Dealing with bullies:
"Typical bullying symptoms include physical complaints such as tummy aches, as well as worries and fears, and a child not wanting to go to school," says Steven Pastyrnak, Ph.D., the Division Chief of Psychology at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI. "A normal defense is to avoid or withdraw from things that are making her stressed."
Stop the bullying before it starts
1- Educate your children about bullying. Once they know what bullying is, your children will be able to identify it more easily, whether it is happening to them or someone else.
2- Talk openly and frequently to your children. The more you talk to them about bullying (or anything is general) they will by the time feel more comfortable to tell you about anything. Check in with your children on daily tasks and ask about their time at school, their classes and activities and more importantly ask about their feelings.
3- Help your child be a positive role model. There are three parties of bullying: the victim, the enforcer, and the bystander. Even if your children are not victims, they can stand by their peers by being kind and respectful, if they witness bullying, they will question this act and offer support and try to prevent it.
4- Help build your child's self confidence. Encourage your child to enroll in activities they love so they can build their self confidence.
5- Be a role model. Show your child how to treat other with kindness and speak up and take action when you witness others mistreated.
6- Be part of their online experience. Be sure to know what platforms your child is using, and try to explain that the real world and the online world are connected to each other, to be aware if they get bullied online.
In the next newsletter I will tell you more about the signs you can look for to know if you child is being bullied, and how can your respond to bullying.
Ps: Your child is one of the most important person in your life, so be sure to stand up to him and care enough to help him take care of himself in the times when your are not with him ;)
I hope you found this newsletter beneficial See you on the next one 😊️
Tasneem from ConyWorld ☺️💙