When it comes to kids and bullying — it’s not discriminatory. There are no boundaries. Bullying can affect anyone of any race or size. You don’t have to know someone to be bullied because it can happen anywhere. Gone are the days when a child can escape the bullying by coming home, but now with the world so advanced with technology, home is no longer a safe haven.
No parent dreams of their child being a bully or being bullied. The first thing to do is educate your child on what is bullying, how to identify it and what to do about it.
What is bullying?
Bullying is cruel behavior that is verbal, physical or written. It is within intention to hurt another person physically or emotionally.
How to identify bullying?
Bullies taunt, harass, gossip, spread hurtful rumors verbally and through electronic technology – texting, instant messaging, emails, social networks and blogs. They take great pleasure in and find it humorous in seeing their victims struggle. They usually say it’s the victim’s fault and that they deserve it.
In most cases when boys bully they are more physical, whereas when girls bully their words are filled with sarcasm and the words are said with more intent.
These are some of the common characteristics of a child who is a bully:
– Dominant, impulsive, bossy, aggressive, manipulative
– Lack of parental guidance. Allowing child to do what they please
– Skip school or get into fights
– Lack of empathy
These are some of the common characteristics of a child who is being bullied:
– Not wanting to go to school. Always feeling sick
– Sadness, fearfulness, introverted, trouble sleeping
– Coming home with bruises or cuts, torn clothing or missing personal belongings
– Low self-esteem, lacks self-confidence
What to do about it?
As parents you never want to see your child in pain or admit your child is a bully. It’s important to educate them early on why bullying is wrong and unacceptable.
Help your child build self-confidence and self-esteem because they’re less likely to be bullied because bullies pick on the vulnerable or easy targets. Teach your child to hold their own because if they don’t, no one else will. They will have to be able to stand up for themselves before anyone else will.
Use discipline when necessary and instill good values. Children learn from what parents put forth so be a good role model for your child.
Open communication with your child is important and being involved, spending time, listening and taking an interest in their lives is crucial in raising responsible, caring, growing, healthy children.
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