Bullying is very difficult for children, or anyone, to deal with. It makes you feel afraid and degraded and often it makes a person feel like they are worthless.
Unfortunately, bullying also makes you stop wanting to go out because you are scared you might see the person bullying you. Many children who are bullied even start asking themselves if they can do anything right?
There are 4 forms of bullying, namely:
- Physical bullying: consists of and includes acts such as forcing children to do things they do not want to do, taking other children’s belongings, violent acts such as kicking, hitting, punching, damaging property, sexual harassment such as pulling victims clothing.
- Verbal bullying: this type of bullying can consist of verbal threats that are being made to the victim; teasing, mocking or taunting of another person; to make threatening and embarrassing gestures; the writing of nasty letters about someone; insulting a person’s family members; calling people names; and swearing.
- Psychological bullying: Psychological bullying can consist of spreading false and hurtful rumours; excluding someone from activities or groups; telling others to stop liking a specific person; trying to dominate a person; intimidating someone by staring at him or her; humiliating or making a fool out of someone; scaring or intimidating someone.
- Cyber bullying: Cyber-bullying is when a child is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. It is usually not a one-time communication act but extends over a period of time.
Possible warning signs of children who are being Bullied:
- Loss of appetite.
- Your child appears worried, angry and moody.
- Your child may experience nightmares more frequently.
- Physical complaints increase and your child avoids explaining physical injuries.
- Withdrawal from friends and activities that they used to enjoy.
- Unexplained cuts, scratches or bruises.
- Becoming shy and withdrawn.
- A sudden dip in academic performance at school.
- Emotional distress during or after using the Internet or the phone.
- Being very protective or secretive of their digital life.
Action steps to stop Bullying:
- Your child must tell the bully to stop, and tell them how bad it feels and that he/she has no right to make your child feel this way.
- Utilize different tips and tools to talk to your child about bullying.
- Opening lines of communication before your child is involved in bullying makes it easier for them to tell you when something happens.
- It is also important to work with a school to help prevent bullying before it starts.
- Encourage your child to walk away without fighting back. Violence will not stop the bullying! Your child should be the stronger person and walk away.
- Tell your child to tell someone they trust, and not to remain silent on the matter.
- Your child must band together with others and avoid being alone with a bully. Talking to other children will probably turn up
- others who have been bullied. Bullies are usually not as brave in front of a group.
- Encourage your child’s sense of belief in themselves, and discourage them from blaming themselves for being a target for bullying.