Getting at the Core of Bullying - How to help your Child
We've seen Bullying a lot in the news recently.
We read about the calamities of bullying and wonder how to protect our own children. What do we do if our own child is a victim or the perpetrator?
Essentially bullying takes place because of the lack of self confidence. At its core, bullying exists because both the bully and the bullied have low self esteem. Bullies will choose a target they perceive as being weak in some way. If the victim falls into this victim role, then the cycle begins - the taunting, teasing and abuse.
School is an especially fertile environment for bullies. As an adult, if you were bullied, you would walk away from the situation or person and not interact with the bully again. Children do not have that choice. They must face the bully, the situation, their lack of self esteem and fear day in and day out. This is not a natural environment nor does it make the victim stronger to ensure this type of emotional pain.
Being bullied only perpetuates the victim cycle of victim. It seems to ‘prove’ to their already negative inner critic that there is something wrong with them. Children who have high self esteem deal with bullies very differently. They will ignore the bully, use humor or in some way show the bully that the bully is not as 'strong' as the bully believes… then the bully will walk away and stop bullying. A child who does not feel confident may try these tactics but if they are not coming from a place of true strength, the tactics seems like just that, tactics.
In order to resolve the issue and truly get the heart of the problem, a parent has to step in and truly help the children feel strong and capable. Help your children build self esteem by using affirmations, relaxation sessions for self esteem (such as those on this site) and even taking a class in martial arts to learn self defense. I advocate peaceful parenting and living and I do not accept fighting as an option. But a martial arts class can build self esteem and self confidence soars. Additionally, with the implementation of these self esteem builders, a child will no longer feel like a victim because they have mental and physical tools at their disposal that will make them feel empowered and walk taller.
Some signs that will help you detect bullying:
- Becoming withdrawn
- Not wanting to talk about school anymore
- Unhappiness in school life/home life
- A normally kind happy child becomes irritable and cranky
- Fear of school (or walking to or home from school)
- New pronounced negativity towards self/life
- Physical marks
- Signs of Stress
When a parent has a very strong bond with a child, it is much easier to detect a bullying issue and resolve it. Do not wait weeks to pass for the issue to resolve itself. Bullying is not a natural phase of childhood and should not be tolerated. Work with your child, teachers and other parents. Implement the self esteem techniques we talked about earlier. Finally if a bullying issue is not or cannot be resolved, it may be time to think about other school options such as home education. Home education is gaining in recognition as parents recognize the unnatural environment and beginning of the rat race as taught in the educational system. Home education allows for unlimited self growth, lots of time for quality friendship development and strong family bonds. You do not want to run away from a bullying situation but you certainly do not want to force your child to endure torture day after day if the problem cannot be resolved. Many parents watch their own children’s self esteem soar as they begin to home educate and learn new talents and interests and get to devote large amounts of time to these talents and interests because they are not spending unfathomable amounts of time re-learning or re-studying things they already know.
Our Recommendations for Kids being Bullied: One with The Universe CD or MP3, and