Bullying among children is an intentional and aggressive behavior that involves an imbalance in power and strength. It can take many forms like physical bullying, verbal and nonverbal bullying, intimidation and emotional bullying. With the development of technology, a new form of bullying was made: cyber bullying. Many children do not tell their parents and teachers about being bullied despite the fact they paid for that international school in Manila’s tuition fee so they can be nurtured and develop their skills as they grow up. It is very important for adults to be vigilant to possible signs of bullying as this can affect the child’s life greatly. Here are the signs that your child is being bullied in the school:
- Comes home with torn, damaged, or missing pieces of clothing, books, or other belongings
- Has unexplained cuts, bruises, and scratches
- Has few, if any friends, with whom he or she spends time
- Seems afraid of going to school, walking to and from school, riding the school bus, or taking part in organized activities with peers (such as clubs)
- Takes a long, “illogical” route when walking to or from school
- Has lost interest in school work or suddenly begins to do poorly in school
- Appears sad, moody, teary, or depressed when he or she comes home
- Complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches, or other physical ailments
- Has trouble sleeping or has frequent bad dreams
- Experiences a loss of appetite
- Appears anxious and suffers from low self-esteem
- Blames self for problems; feels “not good enough”
- Talks about feeling helpless or about suicide; runs away.
- Afraid to be left alone: wants you there at dismissal, suddenly clingy
- Begins bullying siblings or younger kids
Image Source: aifs.gov.au
What to Do When Your Child Is Being Bullied
If you see these signs, then it is your duty as the parent/guardian to probe further on the child. Here are some things you can do:
- Talk to the child
Tell your child that you are concerned and you want to help. Some questions to get the discussion going are:
- “I’ve heard a lot about bullying in the news. Is that going on at your school?”
- “Are there kids in your school that exclude you in a mean way?”
If direct questions won’t work, try subtle ones. Ask him on who he hangs out with or carefully bring up the missing or broken items. While you’re talking to your child, watch his reactions. Keep an eye on his body language if your child is not saying much. Remember, actions speak louder than words. All throughout the conversation, reassure your child that you are always there for him and you recognize that bullying is a problem.
Image Source: mygeniuskid.com
- Talk to the teacher and staff at school
Set an appointment with your child’s teacher to talk to them. The teacher is possibly the best person to understand the relationships between the child and his classmates. You can also ask the teacher to talk to the adults that interact with the child, like the teachers in other subjects or the bus driver, and find out if they see other students bullying your child.
If you are not satisfied with your conversation with the teacher, turn to the school’s guidance counselor or principal to voice out your concerns.
If you don’t suspect that your child is being bullied after talking to the staff, stay vigilant because your child might be experiencing other problems. Some of the warning signs like depression and loss of interest in the school can mean something else. Feel free to share your observations with the school counselor so you will know how to help your child.
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