It’s unfortunate that we can’t protect our children 24/7. It is even more unfortunate that sometimes the harm they are exposed to happens within their school gates, from their own peers. Bullying is more common and harmful than we think – lately it has even blown up in the form of cyber bullying too.
There are various ways that children can be bullied, including being threatened, being made fun of or ignored, being physically harmed, verbally abused and hiding or damaging things. It hurts just imaging your child being bullied doesn’t it?. There is a big difference between joking around and the maliciousness that comes with bullying. Be alert of the signs and act quickly when you notice them:
Signs your child may be bullied:
- Suddenly doesn’t like school or playing with others (isolating self)
- Faking illness or experiencing frequent headaches and stomach-aches
- Frequent missing or damaged items such as books and stationer
- Restlessness and frequent nightmares
- Nervousness and depression
- Lack of concentration and deteriorating class marks
- Unexplained injuries
What can you do to help your child?
- Be a positive role model for your child. Watch the way you speak to others, speak about others and treat them – your children will often copy your behaviour.
- Educate your child about bullying and encourage them to tell an adult when they are being bullied or seeing other children being bullied. Acknowledge and praise their bravery.
- Immediately bring any bullying to the attention of the teacher and Principal (head master). Ask for a facilitated discussion with the parents of the culprit.
- Ask the school to set up an anti-bullying campaign to educate other children about the dangers of bullying. Get all the grades involved.
Have you experienced bullying or have ideas on how else parents can help their children?
Modern Zulu Mom