Hey Mammas! Let’s talk about bullying…
For some parents, bullying is a problem their children face, and for some other parents, their children have turned to bullies.
Did I sound a little harsh? Let’s take a look at what bullying actual means before we dive in.
Bullying is when a person or group of persons consistently and intentionally cause harm to another person or group of persons. Sometimes, they derive so much joy from putting others down.
From the definition, we see that children do this, and their parents may or may not be aware, but today’s focus isn’t on this. Instead, our focus is on helping our children stand up for themselves and say no to BULLYING.
Bullying can happen both in school by schoolmates or friends and at home by siblings. Sometimes it starts playful, but it crosses the line and needs to stop when it becomes hurtful.
It is important to take bullying seriously as it affects another part of the child, their academics, or others. As a result, they lose interest or concentration in other things.
As parents, how can we help our kids avoid or save themselves from bullying? Let’s look 9 ways we can help a child who is dealing with bullying:
Ways To Help A Child Cope With Bullying
1. NEVER STOP PRAYING FOR YOUR CHILDREN:
I honestly don’t intend to go religious on you; however, the truth is as much as you teach and guide them, you are not with them 24/7. You can only parent to the best of your capabilities, but the Holy Spirit helps us even when we drop the ball.
2. DEFEND YOUR CHILD:
Do you recall being teased by aunties, uncles or neighbours growing up? How did you feel? It is essential to protect the self-esteem of our children. This you should do no matter their age; baby, toddler or teenager. These kids are in their formative years, and they can be scared by such things or events.
3. IDENTIFY IF YOUR CHILD IS A VICTIM:
The best way to deal with bullying is to know when your child is a victim. When kids are bullied, there is usually fear and worry towards a place (most likely school) and physical pain from hitting; this will mean having your observation hat on. Never ignore your intuitions.
4. HAVE CONVERSATIONS ON THE MATTER:
Talk about these issues at home because bullying exists and what they can do when they meet one. Please encourage them to speak up on any troubling matters and show your kids you are in their corner. Let them know you will always show up for them, and you have their backs. Speak their love language. When you find out they are in such a situation, listen and acknowledge their hurt. Remember to keep family values on the content burner.
5. NEVER TAKE ACTION WITHOUT THE CHILD INVOLVED:
The truth is that when kids report bullying, there is a high possibility that the practice won’t stop; it just might get intense. It is essential to involve the kids to prevent their bully in their tracks and never respond in negativity or anger when you find out this is happening. Always be on the side of your child and show strong support.
6. TEACH THEM HOW TO RESPOND TO A BULLY WITHOUT VIOLENCE:
Most times, kids who are being bullied stay to themselves and hide in their shells. It is essential to teach them to stand up for themselves and speak confidently without fear. You can also create a post of responses like “Stop, you have no right to hurt me” and walk away and constantly practice with them.
7. DEVELOP THEIR SOCIAL SKILLS:
Children who are perceived as annoying are prone to the risk of being bullied. Help build their social skills at home, discover their interests and passion and encourage them to go for it. Teach them to make and sustain relationships and respect others. Teach them to make eye contact when they speak, provide for the necessary things they need to the best of their ability, so they are not left out all the time.
8. TRAIN THEM TO STAND UP FOR OTHERS:
Your kids should be taught how to stand up for their friends and others when they are bullied. Teach them to speak up against bullying. When kids speak up, it has more impact than the actions of an adult.
9. INVOLVE THE PARENTS OF THE OTHER CHILD:
GET the other child’s parent involved, so they know what their child is up to and address it from home. Try not to get angry at the parent, and their child is that way because they are bad parents. As parents, these kids are first our responsibility before teachers and other institutions. Amongst family remains the best place to handle the matter.
10. SPEAK WITH THE SCHOOL AUTHORITY:
Collaborate with the school to identify cases of bullying and address such matters. Yes, as parents, we expect the school to always be at the top of their game, but kids can be very secretive and can cover up wrongdoings for one another. Once you get a hint of your child being bullied, bring the matter to the attention of the school authority. You can also push the school to have a policy against bullying for parents and teachers in the forum.
Bullying is not tied to a particular gender. Bullying can either be physical, verbal or social, not forgetting cyberbullying. Pay close attention to your child so that you can render timely help. Children who bully others might have been bullied before and look for opportunities to melt out the same treatment to someone else. Bullying doesn’t just happen in higher institutions; primary school students are also good at this. Let’s build a better society together, one child at a time.
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