The definition of bullying is when someone continuously and on purpose says or does mean and hurtful things to another person who has a hard time defending himself or herself. It can be hitting, verbal taunts, snubbing, and sending nasty messages. Bullying takes place at school, text messaging a victim on a cell phone or over the internet. The victim usually loses self-esteem and is depressed.
Parents need to be aware of any sudden changes in a child’s personality. The signs of bullying are the following:
Missing or torn belongings: books, clothes, damaged clothing, backpacks.
Physical abrasions: cuts, bruises, scratches
Isolated: does not seem to have any close friends that come to visit or he or she spends time interating.
Is hesitant walking to and from school or seems worried about going to school.
Does not want to go on field trips or is afraid to take the school bus to school.
He or she needs prodding to do homework. Expressions of not caring about school and school work.
Isolating himself or herself from family. Spending time in his or her room.
Appears sad or depressed but when asked, “what’s wrong” answers, “nothing.” Becomes angry when parent probes for answers.
Health: has headaches, stomachaches, or other physical problems. This also includes trouble sleeping or having nightmares.
Loss of appetite
These symptoms are the usual telltale signs of bullying (there could be other emotional or health problems). The important thing is to check these symptoms carefully and closely to determine the source of the problem.
Solutions for parents.
Talk to your child. Ask questions:
Are kids teasing you at school?
Are you being picked on by other kids?.
Do you get to join games during recesses?
Most children have beenro carrying a burden and melt when the questions are asked. They will blurt out the problem. Sometimes the child is too embarrassed to tell you or if they do tell, they will beg you not to talk to the teacher or ag fnyone else at school.
Share your concerns with your child’s teacher.
If your child tells you he or she is being bullied, the following tips may help:
As difficult as this is sometimes, try to be rational. Control your emotions and think about the consequences you want to achieve.
Be supportive of your child: No matter what your child did, he or she should not be bullied.
Ask your child questions when he or she is telling you about the bullying.
Describe the situation, and if there were any witnesses.
Who was involved? Where did it happen?
Talk to your child’s teacher or principal. Tell them the situation and work with them to solve the problem. Let the school talk to the child who bullied your child.
Check often and talk to the school often. Make sure the bullying stops.
Teach your child the importance of telling someone whenever they are being bullied or if they see someone else is being bullied.
There is a bully prevention program available to schools. It is a complete program that deals with the issues facing students and how to handle bullying situations. It is the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. It works with involving the school, parents and community in the program. To find out more about this program for your school, go to www.Olweus.org.