BULLYING IN SCHOOLS
When I was younger and got to high school I got bullied. It was horrific at the time and really knocked my confidence. I couldn’t see the big picture and that I wasn’t going to be at school for the rest of my life. I thought it was the end of the world. Since then I have realised that most people get bullied at school at some stage and that I wasn’t as alone as I thought. Unfortunately as everyone knows bullying isn’t just confined to schools and playgrounds. Bullying happens frequently in the workplace, luckily for me I haven’t come across this problem but have seen grown women reduced to tears and feeling awful about themselves just because of that one certain person who has decided to make their life hell.
*HOW TO IDENTIFY IF SOMEONE IS BEING BULLIED AT SCHOOL*
Bullying comes in lots of different forms from physical to mental abuse. Everyone is different and will react in different ways so these are only general suggestions to how people could react.
Physical bullying is when someone is hitting or hurting someone deliberately. It is the most obvious form of bullying to spot as your child will have cuts, bruises and in some cases it can get so bad that they will have broken limbs. This can be as simple as tripping someone up on purpose so they will fall. It is easier to prove that someone is doing this to you as you have physical evidence.
Mental bullying in my opinion is very cruel, complex and can be lots of things from name calling to exclusion. This I feel is more dangerous as its harder to spot when a child is being bullied this way as they may feel scared or even ashamed to tell you that someone or a group of people don’t like them. If your child becomes withdrawn, loses confidence, starts becoming aggressive towards their family (as they are close to them and know they can do it they do still love you), doesn’t talk to you as much, is easily annoyed, is disruptive, these all could be signs that your child is getting bullied. However it could just mean that your children are becoming teenagers but the best advice is to talk to them and try to get them to tell you what is troubling them no matter how much abuse they are giving you in the process. I have found that most times disruptive, cheeky and aggressive children don’t have bad parents instead they are unhappy and something is bothering them. At the same time everyone is different and this is only in general. Mental bullying could lead to serious problems like self harming, anorexia, bulimia and mental problems which are complex and hard to treat.
*WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CHILD IS BEING BULLIED*
I have given some suggestions on what you could do if your child is being bullied below these are all from my experience:
Once you have identified the problem and the people who are bullying your child your first instinct is to go and sort it out maybe even in an aggressive manner (for example telling off the children who are picking on your child) this in my experience is the worst thing you can do. It could provoke further bullying and teasing which may be worse than they previously had to deal with.
The first thing you could try is to tell your child to stand up for themselves and give the bully just as good back as what they are taking from them. Tell them not to be afraid of them and that you are on their side.
You could talk to the other children’s parents but in my opinion this may not always be very effective as the parents will always defend their child and you may find the bullies are telling their parents another story. It could mean that you get yourself into a row which is the last thing you would want to do but if you know the person is approachable it could be an option.
Another option is to talk to the school and let them be aware of the issues and problems that are arising. They might be able to keep an eye on your child and make sure that they are happy. This will be more effective in some schools as it just depends on how they deal with these types of matters. As most people know already some schools just don’t want to know and can make matters worse.
If all else fails you can take your child out of the school as long as you have done everything else you can and it has gotten really bad. The only problem with this is that you don’t want your child to think running away from their problems is acceptable. Bullying could continue in a different school. These are things you will have to consider when deciding what’s best for your child. Every parent knows the right decision to make for the safety and health of their child.
*THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOUR CHILD*
Bullying knocks someone confidence a lot and it can leave the child very withdrawn, backward and shy. Here are some things I would suggest you could do:
~ Send your child to a councilor this is not because they are crazy or mental but more for the point that they can talk to someone who is completely out of the situation. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to strangers about your problems as you don’t care of their reactions. They might open up more to them and tell them things they wouldn’t tell you. Even just talking to friends and other people could help.
~ You could send your child to confidence classes they will meet other people who face the same challenges and they will realise that they are not alone and lots of people get bullied every day.
~ Talk to your child as mush as possible letting them know you love them and they can talk to you at any time about their problems. Help build up their confidence by praising them and letting them know they are nice people.
~ Try to avoid rows between siblings and in the house if the child is bring aggressive as they may feel everyone is out to get them. There is nothing worse than getting bullied at school and then coming home to row with your family. This can be hard though as it can be hard not to react when someone is screaming at you. Try to remember that you are the adult and are supposed to be setting an example but at the same time everyone is human and only so much abuse they can take.
Just remember bullies only bully people because they can get away with it and it makes them feel better about themselves then others join in as they fear it may happen them and they want to fit in. Quite often the bully is insecure about themselves and makes people feel small to make them feel better. The best thing someone can do who is being bullied is to stand up for themselves. Once you like yourself and are confident it is harder for bullies to target you are long as you are direct and assertive in a non-aggressive way. Often bullies back off once you turn it back onto them. Just because your child is being bullied doesn’t mean they are unsociable or not nice people it just means they are unfortunate to have to deal with it.
Personally I was bullied because I did well at school and a certain few in my class decided they didn’t like me because of it. This is a very common reason why people pick on others and it all stems down to jealousy. I was called everything at the start and there was nothing I could do to stop it. As a teenager I didn’t deal with it very well and just took it from them cried and tried to stay away from them. This was the biggest mistake I could ever have done as eventually they told lies and had turned most of my class against me and I was excluded from everything and everyone. It made me very unhappy and even more withdrawn. My school was rubbish because I didn’t want to tell them what the bullies had done and I was blamed for everything. I then refused to go to school for months my parents didn’t know what to do. Eventually I told my mother what had been happening and she went to the school. I was put into a support unit where I gradually cam back to school. My teachers where made aware of my problems. To be honest the problem didn’t go away in fact it made it worse as rumors started (lets just say they were the most horrible and cruel things you could say about someone) and none of them was true.
It wasn’t until one day I had, had enough and I decided that the bullies weren’t going to hurt me anymore that it stopped. In later years I forgave them and a few of the group of girls came and apologized to me saying that they were wrong and only followed the crowd, in fact the actually liked me. I thought it was very big of them and appreciated that they had apologized. Bullying did make me a stronger person and made me appreciate the people around me who are nice to me and treat me good. The best advice I can give to parents is don’t blame yourself as it is out of your hands. For the child being bullied my advice is to keep your head up high you are just as good as the bully even better and it’s not your fault they are doing it to you, it’s their problem. Stick up for yourself and love yourself for who you are. Things will eventually get better and most times you even up with a better life and better friends than the bully has.
In this review all these points and tips are my opinions and thoughts. Every child is different and other methods may need to be used to help them.