Bullying: No One Deserves It
Most people have been bullied at some point in their lives. The effect it has on one varies in as many degrees as bullying itself. Whatever the effect, it’s never good. If your child is known for bullying; or has bullied in the past, it may be hard to find sympathy and you may wonder if it’s fair to complain. It is. No child deserves to be bullied. Ever. Period.
Would you know if your child was being bullied? What should a mom be on the look out for?
According to an article by Margie Markarian entitled “Stop Bullying in Its Tracks” in AAP’s magazine “Healthy Children” these are some subtle signs of bullying you should watch for:
- Tattered or torn clothes
- Frequent reports that money or valuables were lost or stolen from school
- An abrupt lack of interest in school and/or school-related activities your son or daughter usually enjoys
- A sudden slip in grades (because bullied kids are often too anxious to stay focused on school work)
- Taking different routes to and from school
- Missing the school bus so you have to drop off and pick up
- Extreme hunger after school (harassment may involve bullies confiscating lunch/lunch
- Racing to bathroom when getting home (avoiding school bathrooms because that’s where bullying takes place)
- Being withdrawn or lonely
- Difficulty sleeping, frequent headaches, and/or stomachaches
- Talking negatively about peers, or not talking about peers or school at all
What else can we do to be aware of what are children are going through?
- Develop a comfortable rapport with your kids. Do they know they can always talk to you? I converse with my kids constantly. I make conscious efforts to validate and support their thoughts and ideas. I also resist the urge to be judgmental or critical as much as possible. I ask lots of open-ended questions (questions that require more than a one-word answer) and I follow up on things we’ve discussed.
- Know your kids. This seems obvious, and since you’re here, it may not even apply to you. Every school year I meet with my new student’s parents and I ask them to tell me about their child. You would be amazed at the number of blank stares and generic answers I get.
I cannot reiterate this enough: No Child Deserves To Be Bullied. Period. Just because your child is/was bullying other children, that doesn’t make it okay. At one point I felt like if I complained that my daughter was being bullied other people would be like, “Good, that’s what she gets.” And some people were. But I quickly learned to come to my daughter’s defense, because no one else will.
Bullying is a vicious cycle that has to be stopped somewhere. Many schools have no-tolerance rules. but these can only be enforced if the bullying is recognized. What does bullying look like? Where do you draw the line between friendly ribbing and malicious teasing? Stay tuned for Mom Confession Part 4: Bully is As Bully Does
- Sugar & Spite: Bullying and Young Girls (peterhbrown.wordpress.com)
- Bullies used to call me names.. now my life is smiles better (mirror.co.uk)
- Dealing With School Bullies (homesecuritysource.com)