It is often the fear of every parent that when their child reaches the elementary school age, they become exposed to the world, which means they get to see good and bad people.
Children could be very mean to one another, and the effects of being at the receiving end of constant laughter and hurtful words could have long-lasting consequences on one’s mental health.
As a parent, once you notice certain behaviours like your child’s lack of friends or reluctance to go to school, you should try to find out if there are any external causes for this behaviour. More times than often, your child is being bullied.
The reason for bullying
Bullying is a very huge problem children face in schools both in our Thai community and all over the world. Innocent children are constantly picked on and made fun of for no valid reason. Many children are bullied for things such as family status, being from a low-income home, being academically sound, etc.
There are also many reasons a bully takes it upon themselves to pick on innocent people. Some of these reasons are, they are imitating what they’ve seen someone do before, they seek to assert dominance, pure hatred or dislike for the victim, and they believe they are huge and can take on anyone. A lot of bullies are products of unhappy homes and, as such, are always angry. They tend to transfer their anger to their friends and innocent persons.
Steps to take when your child reports being bullied in school
All parents want their children to be happy. No parent should take a reported case of bullying lightly. If your child makes such a report, there are certain things you can do to address the matter. They include:
1. See the teacher at school and ask to talk to the bully’s parent.
The first thing to do is to go to the school to address the issue. Ask for the teacher in charge of taking care of your child and engage in a conversation with them. A teacher should keep an eye on all students and observe any kind of behaviour out of place. Make an official report to the teacher and school expressing your displeasure about having your child bullied.
Also, request to speak to the bully’s parents in the presence of both children involved. Explain the effects bullying can have on the victim. Ask for an apology from the bully and make efforts to ensure both children leave the room on a friendly note. Try to do all this calmly without curse words or emotional outbursts.
2. Teach your child to avoid violence and not retaliate.
You must teach your children not to fight back because the problem may escalate. Explain to your child the importance of avoiding violence at all costs. Instead, tell him to report to the teacher or school principal and then to you once he gets home. Make sure to take his report seriously and head to school the very next day to address it.
3. Try examining your child’s behaviour.
Questions like ‘do you know why you are being bullied?’ may help understand and de-escalate the issue.
Children have very funny reactions. They may be mean to another child just because that other child refused to share their toys.
Hence as a parent, try to examine your child’s behaviour to see if they have any offending behaviours that put them at a disadvantage. If such behaviour is found, address it with love and patience.
4. Take your child to a new school
You can take your child to a new school as a last resort. This is often after all reasonable steps have been taken to address the bullying. If the bully is relentless and continues to pick on your child, it is best to take him away to another school.
A new school provides a new environment and helps the child start afresh with new classmates and potential friends. Make sure to keep an eye on your child and be involved in their life to ensure there’s no repeat of such bullying experience.
Bullying is often a direct consequence of bad parenting. As parents, we must bring up our children with love and warmth. We must ensure that we raise children of great personalities who will do no harm to others.
Effective parenting helps decrease the chances of child bullying in schools by a large percentage.