Bullying has become a more and more important topic. Many children are bullied at school. The reasons are numerous: race, religion, sexuality, cleverness, shyness, his nose, her glasses, ...
The thing is: Bullied children often endure all this without asking anyone for help. They fear that adults either don't believe them or that the bullying would only get worse if they were defended by an adult. That means that victims are often harassed for weeks or even months before someone notices anything.
What can you as parents do to help your child? First of all, keep your eyes open for signs of bullying. Is your child often complaining about headaches or stomach aches before school? Is he or she quieter than usual? Watch out for any change in behaviour as this could be a sign. If you notice something unusual, talk to your child! But be gentle and don't press your child too much. Ask how he or she feels, if something has been worrying him or her lately. If you were bullied at school too, tell your child about it. It is important that your child trusts you.
Should you find out that your child indeed is a victim of bullying, keep calm and think before taking action. Calling the bullies' parents will most probably only worsen your child's situation. Talk to your child's teachers and think of the best way to tackle this sensitive issue together. But most important: Support your child! Show him or her that you are on his or her side, that you want to help. It can take a great weight off his or her shoulders to know that he or she isn't alone.
It might be advisable to keep your child home for a few days to lessen the stress. Talk to the teachers about the reasons for staying away from school but ask them not to tell the class.
If the problem cannot be solved, investigate whether your child can change to another school or be homeschooled.
When you have read Kathy's Wednesday post about bullicide, you know how dangerous bullying can be for your child. Protect your child with every possible means!!!