What is bullying?
What do bullies do?
Bullies generally choose targets who are smaller and younger than they are. In many cases, bullying is the result of insecurity because it’s a way to vent frustration and bring another child, who may be perceived as receiving more attention, down.
Reactions to bullying
Because bullying can take many forms, it can make the bully’s target feel a number of emotions and react in different ways. If you are concerned that you child is the target of bullying, look for:
• Frequent changes in mood
• Poor posture
• Noticeably increased or decreased appetite
• Anti-social behaviour such as swearing or hitting out at others
• Signs of anxiety in public
• Academic underachievement
How to deal with bullying
If your child, or a child you know, is being bullied there are some important steps to take.
1. Listen – children who have been bullied are often hesitant to speak up, so when they decide to tell you about it listen in silence.
2. Talk – verbal support, such as letting a child know that bullying is not their fault and that you know how to put a stop to it is invaluable.
3. Wait – giving a child time to process everything is important. Don’t take action without them agreeing as in some situations this can make the bullying worse.
4. Plan – make strategies for avoiding certain situations or facing them head on.
5. Act – inform authority figures like teachers about what is happening, help your child with coping tactics and boost their confidence.
How to deal with a bully
1. Listen – try to find out why the child is acting out in this way. Doing this without judging them is the best way to find out how to make it stop.
2. Talk – let the child know that their behaviour is hurting someone else and there are much better ways to deal with their feelings.
3. Wait – let the information you have given the child sink in. They may think about their bullying in a new light and see why it is so unacceptable.
4. Plan – help the child to identify bullying behaviours and stop them.
5. Act – if the bullying continues, let a figure of authority know and get as much help as possible.
Written by DryNites New Zealand