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Ten year old Mannat has always been a petite (short heighted) child. It has never bothered her, but during seventh class, she became continuous terrified of school. Her parents pushed her to go anyway, but then she began running out of the class, crying. Mannat, a victim of bullying, was sliding into depression.
Bullying at school or neighbourhood playgrounds is quite common. We, the moms feel more helpless when our child scared of a bully in school. The instinctive, but ineffective, response would be to tell the child to ‘fight right back’ or ignore it. Boys, especially, are often expected to ‘toughen up’ and deal with it. However, bullying can be so severe sometimes that the child cannot handle it himself or herself. I strongly feel, we should teach our kids, to handle bullies on their own, for their own safety because we can not be with them all the time.
What exactly is Bullying?
Bullying can be verbal, emotional or physical. It can take the form of excessive teasing, ragging, physically shoving or punching. It can happen between children from different and same age groups.
Mostly, Children do not complain.
Bullying is often unnoticed or dismissed as a part of student life by adults, who lack the knowledge or sensitivity to deal with it. People are also unaware of how it can deeply ruin both individuals’ self esteem and also impact other children who silently witness the bullying. Often, we are approached after the situation has been going on for a long while and has resulted in severe problems for our child. Early intervention in bullying is important as it can go too far. Mostly read in newspapers about kids, who took extreme steps, like hurting themselves, when they feel insulted or insecure. Some people feels that bullying enables a child to learn new skills to cope with different kinds of children. Still, when boundaries are being violated, or the child is being hurt in any way, intervention by adults is a must.
Empowering your child:
If parents observe any unexplained change in their child’s behavior, such as aggressiveness, timidity, depression, oversensitivity or anger, it can be something amiss. Exploring with the child about time spent in the school bus, playground, canteen, etc, where adult supervision is often absent, can show you some light. The best ways to help your child are, Believe your child. Take it seriously. Keep your cool. Let him trust that you will find a solution. Let him take a break from the situation if he needs to. Assure him of your constant support. Be proactive and firm with the school, but also be ready to accept their suggestions, if you feel they are valid ones.
Help her to build self-esteem by exploring at what she is good. Parents need to decide when to step in to intervene for the child. Parents of the bullying child also need to make effective changes in their parenting and disciplining to deal with this unpleasant and possibly dangerous aspect of child’s behaviour.
5 Ways to explain them how to handle bullies:
1. Coach them to get help; No matter how your child is being targeted, fighting back usually isn't the best solution. Rather, teach them to walk away and seek help from a teacher or a supervising adult. To avoid being harassed on the school bus, suggest to sit with friends, since a bully is less likely to happen on a kid in a group. But you may need to get involved to ask the bus driver to keep an eye on them.
2. Encourage Positive Behavior; Tell your child to practice looking at the color of her friend's eyes and to do the same thing when she's talking to a child who's bothering her. This will force her to hold her head up so she'll appear more confident. Also practice making sad, brave, and happy faces and tell her to switch to "brave" if she's being bothered.
3. Practice a script; Rehearse the right way to respond to a tough kid so your child will feel better prepared. Teach him to speak in a strong, firm voice. Crying will only encourage a bully. Suggest that he say something like, "Stop bothering me!" or "I'm not going to play with you if you act mean." He could also try, "Yeah, whatever," and then walk away. That aggravates a bully and will not come back.
4. Practice to stand for himself; for example, how to cope with two aggressive boys. If one of them grabs his toy, he should say, "No, stop! I'm playing with that!" in a loud voice. It would make him learned how to stick up for himself.
5. Praise progress; When your child tells you how she defused a harasser, let her know you're proud. If you witness another child standing up to a bully in the park, point it out to your child so she can copy that approach.
My experience of childhood:
I was sad, hearing comment from my friends, 'Chipkoo' because all the time I was with oil in my head. I had long beautiful hairs. I told my mom to not apply oil on my hairs as I got teased and did not feel good. I remember, my mother told me; I should answer them saying "I have long and beautiful hairs only because I am nurturing them with oil. Otherwise they will get dry and light in density like yours". Guess what, It worked. Nobody after that teased me. Infact, some of them started apply oil on their head.
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"Did You Know the Things, Your Child could choke on?"