We ‘re in a world where uncultured individuals tend to be mean and unaccommodating to others for one reason or the other. We can join hands and alleviate bullying in our societies amongst children, teens or adults. In school, here are signs to lookout for if a child is being bullied
  • Avoiding school or activities: When your child begins to show disinterest in school activities that he/she normally takes part in, this could be a sign that bullying is being experienced whether verbally, emotionally or physically.
  • Change in eating habits: Kids with healthy eating habit tend to loose interest in eating their favourite meals when served. They have their minds occupied with their worries and eating becomes the last thing they can think of, they either eat less or become mindless eaters.
  • Change in hygiene: A child that avoids the bathroom because he/she doesn’t feel safe there anymore would show it in their hygiene, they withdraw from the regular things they do daily to avoid their bullies find them or noticing them.
  • Dropping grades: No individual can perform well in a toxic or hostile environment, experiencing emotional or physical trauma can reduce ones performance level faster than building their skills.
  • Headaches, stomachaches, and other illnesses: As soon as the child starts getting bullied and feels helpless, their healthy habits may dwindle and subject them to infections and sicknesses that could have been avoided in a normal day.
  • Mood and personality changes: A child can become moody overnight over stress in school, he/she has experienced the worst treatment they’ve ever imagines from their colleagues in school and this can affect their personalities and moods.
 
Here are easy steps you can adapt to tackle bullying:
 
  • Begin at Home: Ensure that your child understands what bullying is and is able to discern the signs of bullying. Begin by having an open conversation where you explain and also get feedback from your child. If you notice that your child has the tendency of being a bully, speaking with the child on how it affects others, them and you as a parent can help right their paths in accommodating others and being kind.
  • Learn the Warning Signs: You have to get yourself educated on the warning signs of bullying, the signs are always their when we pay a little more attention to the child. Physically examining the child like looking our for swells, bruises or scratches can shine  alight on if the child is being physically attacked in school.
  • Instill Respect for Others: Help your child with accountability and understanding that it is ideal to respect others and their personal spaces. When your child disrespect others regardless of their backgrounds, be quick to correct them and make them apologise for their wrongdoing.
  • Instill Healthy Habits: Healthy habits is a lifeline to healthy existence, help your child understand that any form of bullying is unhealthy and unacceptable. Actions like, saying mean things to hurt others, hitting, pushing, shoving, spreading rumours are totally unacceptable and should be done.
  • Empower Your Kids: Teach your child about the best way in handling bullying. They can deal with bullying by; walking away; telling an adult; or telling the bully in a firm voice to stop, reporting to their teachers, etc. are all things that you can teach your child. It’s also important to teach kids how and when to report bullying when they witness it, and help them understand why they do not want to be a bystander.
  • Become Familiar With Your School’s Policies: It’s important to have a firm grasp on how bullying is handled at your child’s school. This includes knowing which person to call if something happens with your children, as well as having clear expectations for how the situation will be handled.
  • Report Bullying Incidents: If your child tells you they are being bulled, start by contacting school management and ask to meet with the personnels in charge in person. By holding a face-to-face meeting, you are demonstrating that you’re committed to seeing that the issue resolved.

    It can also be useful to document all bullying incidents. This will help you be prepared if the situation escalates and law enforcement or other outside sources need to become involved.

  • Be an Advocate: Be the one who isn’t afraid to raise awareness about bullying and why it should be stopped. Educate others on the damages on the victims as well as the bully in question. With proper awareness being spread, many would understand better ways of dealing with their emotions and conflicts in their spaces.
  • Recruit Other Parents: As a parent, you can intimate other parents like you on the issues of bullying, help them understand the danger signs to look out for, the steps to take to put a stop to it and to encourage their children to never hesitate to speak up about bullying even when it concerns their colleagues.
  • Spend Time at School: Sometimes you can take some time to visit your ward’s school to have a firsthand experience on the day to day activities of the school, students’ behaviour and how the school management have put in place measures and policies to deal with bullying. You can take notes and raise your concerns with the school management if need be.
  • Request the PTA/PTO to Sponsor a Bullying-Prevention Program: Communities with fast rising issues of bullying need to act switfly in dealing with the menace. As bullying is unacceptable in any society, it must not be given a breathing space. You can encourage the PTA of your school to sponsor one way or the other bullying-prevention programme that would also include sensitising the community to fight against bullying if any sort.

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