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Teaching Your Child To Deal With Bullying

Updated on August 6, 2015
Boy alone may be a target for bullying
Boy alone may be a target for bullying

A new school year has just begun, and as a parent you most likely did your best preparing your child for this event. You may have given your son or daughter a little motivational speech about facing up to the challenges of education. And on that first day you watch with pride as your precious jewel leaves for school decked out in a new outfit, in the latest style, new backpack, new shoes, laptop, cell phone, the works. But have you given thought to another type of challenge your child may have to face? The challenge of bullying?

According to statistics, bullying among teens and children is on the rise. 58 percent of children admit to being bullied at some time in school and the American Justice Department statistics show that 1 in every 4 adolescents will face some form of bullying. The rise in these numbers is supposedly due to bullying on the internet, either by cell phone or computer, called cyber bullying.

Helping your child deal with face-to-face bullying

1. First of all, as parents you should foster the type of relationship with your children that encourages them to come to you with any problem. According to statistics, well over 50 percent of young people do not tell their parents when they are bullied.

2. Instill assertiveness in your children by telling them to say 'no' to the bully's demands, or simply walk away.

3. Instruct children to report bullying to the teachers.

4. Help your child avoid being a target of bullying by improving his/her body language. The child who makes good eye contact, walks with his head up and shoulders back, takes long strides exudes confidence and shows he is not afraid. Even if he is, practicing these things will help improve his self-confidence.

5. Tell your child to use common sense by avoiding certain places where bullying is likely to occur - lonely parts of the playground and certain locker areas, for example.

6. Have a support system. The child who surrounds himself/herself with a group of trusted friends is less likely to be approached by a bully.

7. If all else fails, report the bully to the law enforcement authorities. Some states have laws against bullying, but even if your state doesn't, your local police may be able to help.

Helping your child deal with cyber bullying

Some parents think it's an invasion of their child's privacy to check their children's room and their belongings. This has proved to be a grave error on the part of some parents, as recent events have shown. Your child's computer and your child's cell phone - which you purchased and you pay for - should never be off limits to you. Your child should know that you can check his accounts at any time and that you are only doing it for his safety.

When cyber bullying occurs, save and print the message so you have documented proof. Block the sender, close your child's e-mail's account or change her cell phone number. If the bullying continues, you can report it to the school. If the bullying is threatening or sexual in nature, you should report it to law enforcement authorities immediately. Parents can also go a step further and contact the sender's cell phone or e-mail provider and the sender can lose his/her account.

Bullying, whether face-to-face, or over the internet is a serious offence which can cause serious trauma to a child or young person. Some children suffer from depression and/or even commit suicide as a result of being bullied. Parents, talk to your children at the end of the day. If your child, who was always cheerful and active suddenly retreats into himself, does not want to go to school or is failing in his classes, you need to find out what's wrong. If your child won't confide in you, then you should seek professional help.


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