Anti Bullying Boston

What Is Bullying And Why Do Children Bully

How Parents Can Help With School Bullying

Mobbing & Name Calling Many children are afraid to tell their parents that they are being bullied. Many worry that their parents may think less of them for being bullied or even that their parents may think there is something wrong with them. Having had their self confidence taken away by the bully they want to maintain and protect the respect that their parents have for them. Therefore a parent cannot rely on their child telling them about incidents of bullying.

If a child was once happy at school but is no longer there is a reason for this. If a child starts to ask not to be picked up or dropped off at the school they may well be trying to hide the fact that they are being bullied. If they seem to be short of money – when you know they shouldn’t be – or are hungry after school, it could well be a sign that their lunch and/or money is being taken – they may also start “losing” pocket money or asking to borrow more. Ripped or missing clothing are also a good indicator that bullying is taken place.

Another more subtle sign is that of a child spending more time in organized after school activities (some children do this so that they avoid having to go home at the same time as the bully/bullies).

If a child’s school work starts to suffer and they lose enthusiasm for both school and other activities it may well indicate the start of bullying induced depression. Couple this with an upturn in the number of hours spent sleeping, especially immediately after school and it may be that a child is being bullied.

None of these things on their own are a sign of bullying however if your child/teenager will refuse to talk about these things or deny they are doing them your suspicions should be aroused. Don’t satisfy yourself with the self convincing argument that this is just a phase they are going through, do some simple investigations: check your child’s schoolbooks (do not search for a diary or similar as this is an invasion of privacy) to see if they have been defaced etc, turn up one time at school to pick them up to see if they are being picked on or excluded.

Don’t deny the problem.

Talking With Your Child About Bullying

Solving Bullying In Boston If you can get your child to talk about their experiences do so and avoid phrases like, “it will soon blow over”, “You just need to toughen up”, “ignore them and rise above it”, “bullying is a sign of weakness” etc, etc. These are pieces of advice that are only relevant if a child feels confident and in control. Also you have to admit to yourself that you only know what you’ve been told e.g. a child may admit to having a “bit of trouble” but be too embarrassed to talk about the length of time the abuse has been going on as well as the depth of it. Coming out with stock phrases will only convince your child that you: a) don’t understand and b) don’t have anything to offer them in terms of support.

Admitting that you are being bullied is not an easy thing and a child may “test” you with bits and pieces of information to see how you respond. It is important that you don’t come across as out of touch and lacking in good advice.

In our 2007 survey bullied children felt significantly less valued by their parents and family than non-bullied children. Expressing how you feel about your child is important to make sure that they have a place where they are valued for who they are but you must be careful how you do this.

If school bullies have been calling your child names and stating that they are “ugly” etc, your child will have a stronger belief in this view than the alternative one that you offer. Although your job is to offer support and help build the confidence of your child, they may well take your compliments of them being “good looking” or “pretty” as you just saying this to make them feel better or because that’s the sort of thing that mothers and fathers say.

To make a real difference you must start letting your child have greater control in family situations and decisions i.e. that their view and opinion is sought after, valued and respected. A bullied child has very little opportunity to control anything (bullies deny them this), by allowing your child responsibility and a level of control over their situation they are being show that someone else actually values who they are and is willing to work around them. Giving control is not the same as giving in and the parent-child relationship should be maintained.

Control rather than compliments are what bullied children need.

The SEPS program we offer engages parents as well as children, teaching both how to deal with the problem of bullying. To read more about the anti bullying courses we offer and the skills we teach please, click here.