Getting bullied can be a traumatic experience for a school-going child, but it can also have lasting consequences well into their adulthood. It doesn’t just make them sad and afraid, but it also erodes their self-esteem away, often leaving them depressed and anxious. It can also lead to suicidal thoughts and various other mental as well as physical health issues. This is why it is crucial that you, as parents, keep an open dialogue about bullying with your child. You should also offer your support to them so that they feel safe and protected. There are numerous anti-bullying campaigns that can help you do that. In addition to that, here are a few tips that will help you empower and arm your child against bullying at school, on the playground, online or anywhere else:
- Forewarning is crucial
One of the most effective ways to empower your child against bullying is to have a conversation about it. Talk to them about what bullying is, its causes, and its signs. Make sure you build a relationship of support and encouragement so that if your child is bullied, they tell you about it so that you can work it out together. Also, let them know that they should NEVER respond to online bullying without informing you first. When it comes to bullying, it is critical that the perpetrator does not get what they want and that is someone they can get a rise out of.
- Know the warning signs
In addition to teaching your child how to identify signs of bullying, you should also arm yourself with the right information so that you can recognize if your child is being bullied. This is especially important because when children are bullied, they may be reluctant to bring that up in front of their parents. Poor academic performance, coming home with missing or damaged belongings, reluctance to go to school, taking a different route home, and so on, are some common warning signs.
- Practice appropriate responses through roleplay
Another way to prepare your child to deal with bullies is to practice appropriate responses. Through the medium of role play, you can teach them what to do or say if someone tries to bully them. You want to make sure that if someone humiliates them, they do not react in a manner that adds fuel to the fire. This is why you need to help them come up with words or actions that will deflect the situation, provided they are comfortable doing that.
Bullying can have a debilitating effect on your child, which is why it is so important for you to teach them how to stand up against it through proper bullying preventing strategies.