As a grandparent, I worry about my grandchildren who will soon enter into middle school. Articles and news reports rampant school bullying not only in the United States but also in other countries. It has become global and every parent or guardian should do something about it.
Based on my observations on the reports and documentaries, some kids may have traumatic experiences that may have a negative effect during their adolescence or even adulthood. Unfortunately, amidst the social issues present in day-to-day school interaction, there are many bullying cases that are left unreported which can cause low self-esteem and depression in a child.
As a concerned citizen and a grandparent of five, I couldn’t help but to take a stand about bullies. I believe growing up is a process and it needs to be a special time for the kids to experience a relatively carefree life. Every parent and guardian wants their child to have the best time of their lives as kids. So how do you deal with it if your child is a target or a victim of a bully? Here are some of the interventions and preventive measures to combat negative feelings.
#1 Keep in touch with your child and have a constant communication.
People become busy amid the conveniences of technology. As part of parenthood, it’s our responsibility to nurture our child. Despite our busy schedules, a parent should always ask about how their child’s day went – outside or inside school premises. Avoid asking questions that can be answered by a yes or no. Get creative and let your child tell you what happened in class and during his or her break time. You can also ask if they made a new friend at school or in the neighborhood. And for goodness sake, when you ask, listen and watch what they say and do.
#2 Be vigilant and observant.
Not all children are capable of sharing every detail of their whatabouts and whereabouts. If you notice something odd or a change in attitude or your child’s daily routine, it should serve as a red flag. Your child may be undergoing a difficult time and it’s time for you to talk and do something about it.
#3 Be a positive role model and do affirmations together.
Every child looks up to their parents. Be a positive model to your child and interact with other people positively. Your child may be affected by your radiant and positive energy and may mirror your actions. Moreover, doing positive affirmations together helps both of you to be confident, happy and contented. Teach him how so he may adapt and share it with their friends. Teach your children to use body language to change their attitude before and after difficult situations. (Read Amy Cuddy)
#4 Be an active parent and participate in school activities.
Immerse yourself to the school grounds and experience it first-hand. You’ll learn more about the child’s environment. Whenever there’s a student-parent activity, a fair or a school play, always be present to learn more about the surroundings. You’ll get the chance to see the kids, your child’s friends and assess if they have good relationships. If you notice your child shy away from a few kids, it may be a sign of bullies.
#5 Report and intervene.
If your child admitted that they have been a victim of bullying, take action. Report to the school authorities, talk to the bully’s parents and arrange a reconciliation.
Photo by Stuart Miles from Free Digital Photos.