In a recent study, 77% of the students said they had been bullied. Cyber bullying statistics reveal similar numbers. And 14% of those who were bullied said they experienced severe (bad) reactions to the abuse. (http://www.how-to-stop-bullying.com/bullyingstatistics.html)
Your child could be getting bullied if he or she:
- No longer likes going to school.
- No longer seems to have any friends.
- Is coming home looking like a victim of violence (bruises, scrapes, cuts, etc).
- Doesn’t eat as much as he or she used to.
- Seems depressed.
- Comes home from school missing things (some bullies steal stuff).
- Seems generally worried or stress for no apparent reason.
- Seems to have decreased self confidence.
- Comes home with items or clothes torn or broken.
- Complains of illnesses like stomach aches or headaches (that you suspect is brought on by nerves).
- Any other behavioral patterns that make you suspect that your child is being bullied.
What do you do?
First, find out what is happening in a non-judgmental way. Find out what the details are, when, and who the bully (bullies) was. Be supportive of your child in this conversation. Remember that your child has probably already taken some steps. Find out what actions your child has already taken to see where you can help the most.
It is also good to take pictures of any injuries your child has sustained or any torn clothes, broken items, etc. The more documentation that you have, the stronger the case you can present to the school or even police to help you.
Take all of this evidence to your child’s teacher and school administrator asap. Bullying is a big deal on a national level in the educational system and they have systems in place to help your child.
Take the time to protect your child’s self esteem and self confidence. Do this by being verbally supportive of your child and by offering positive feedback. It could be that you need to seek professional counseling for your child if you think the physiological trauma warrants it.
Consider enrolling your child in a quality Martial Arts Program that focuses on building self confidence and self esteem.
Continue to monitor your child’s progress. Remember, this is not a one and done kind of thing. Be constantly vigilant and offer constant support and encouragement for your child, as well as constant communication with your child’s teacher.
Remember, don’t make your child do this alone! There are options directly available to you that can turn this negative series of events in your child’s life into things that he or she overcame. As with all life challenges, help your child develop the self confidence and self esteem to become greater than this challenge.