What To Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied
Posted: January 13, 2021
Finding out that your child is being bullied at school can be gut-wrenching. Nobody likes to think of their child being physically or verbally hurt.
As a concerned parent, is it completely normal to feel angry and upset about your child being bullied. However, acting on these emotions can make things worse. Getting upset or heading to school and confronting the bully’s parents may prevent your child from talking to you about their problems in the future.
Instead, there are other ways in which you can help your child deal with their problem.
Listen To Them
Firstly, if your child has told you they are being bullied, thank them for sharing it with you. Speaking out against bullies is a very brave and courageous thing to do. Try to remain calm. Getting upset and angry will make it difficult to help anyone.
Bullying exists in many forms. Your child may have experienced physical attacks, verbal abuse or psychological/emotional bullying, such as intentional exclusion.
Ask your child to explain in detail what has happened. If it is a one-off incident, don’t dismiss it. It must have been upsetting if your child felt the need to come forward. Reassure your child that they are not alone.
Try Not To Take Charge
It can be easy to take over and tell your child you will “sort it”. But this could make the problem escalate. Instead, talk through possible solutions with your child and ask them what they would like to do next.
Speak To The School Privately
Contact your child’s teacher and schedule a time that is convenient for both of you to chat privately. It is likely that the teacher isn’t aware of the bullying. Explain what is happening and how it is impacting your child.
The teacher will likely make a point of looking out for your child and keeping an eye out for any trouble. They may also make an effort to keep the bully away from vulnerable children. Perhaps schedule a follow-up phone call to see how things are going.
Teach Your Child Not To Retaliate
Bullies like to cause a scene. If your child retaliates, it usually gives the bullies the attention they want, and therefore makes them likely to continue with their bullying tactics.
Encourage Your Child To Take Up Martial Arts
Taking up any hobby will be beneficial to your child. But martial arts is particularly great. And not because it teaches your child how to fight. No. Martial arts teaches a range of self-defence techniques and skills that will help your child for the rest of their life.
Confident, self-assured individuals are less likely to be targeted by bullies. And the skills taught at martial arts classes will help shape your child into a confident individual aware of their instincts.
Through martial arts, your child can learn how to:
- Stand confidently, maintain good posture and make direct eye contact when speaking to others
- Treat others with respect, even if they do not get it in return
- Identify and trust gut instincts. Plus, your child will be taught how to act on these gut instincts in uncertain situations. For example, walking away from a challenging situation can be difficult, but following their gut instincts is usually the best thing to do.
- Identify their strengths and be kind to themselves
- Speak assertively and positively
- Remain calm in highly-emotional situations
- Be aware of their surroundings and recognise unsafe situations. For example, staying in a group can prevent bullies from attacking.
Violence should always be avoided. However, some bullies are intent on fighting. If your child is being physically attacked, knowing self-defence techniques will help them defend and protect themselves.
Enable Your Child To Spend Quality Time With Friends Outside Of School
Ask your child if they would like to invite their friend/s over for a sleepover. Enable them to meet with their friends and have fun outside of school.
Aside from relieving stress, this will remind your child that they have friends who care about them. Creating a support system will lessen the impact that bullying has on your child.
Keep A Log
If your child has told you they are being bullied, make a note detailing what happened and when. If the things do not improve and your child continues to be bullied despite interventions by the school, ensure you keep a log of each incident. This will be useful if you have to take the matter higher.
Teach Your Child To Stand Up For Others
If your child has been bullied, it can be an opportunity to teach many lessons. For example, you can teach your child to stand up for other children if they see bullying behaviour.
Saying something such as “That’s not cool” to the bully, or inviting the child who is being bullied to come and play can make a huge difference. Encouraging a culture of “upstanders” can help stamp out bullying.
Get In Touch
At Ellis Academy Of Self Defence, we help parents raise confident leaders and we help adults reach their full potential. If you are in the Redhill area and you would like to enrol your child in one of our martial arts classes, please get in touch.