When Your Child Is Being Bullied By A Friend!

So suddenly out of the blue your little bundle of joy starts to become more quite and submissive around a certain friend! The joyful tot is always apprehensive around her power yielding best friend and trying to please her/him all the time! That’s definitely a sign of alarm. Parents need to recognise the signs that their children have befriended a “Bully”

Common ways of bullying are untitled

  • Calling out names, teasing or mocking, physical or verbal aggression.
  • Giving a “silent treatment” to the one being targeted
  • Encouraging others to “gang up” and get angry on the targeted kid.
  • Saying mean things and brushing it off by saying “just joking”.
  • Spreading false rumours.
  • Threatening by the bully saying they will not be friends with the one being targeted
  • Talking about activities where the targeted girl/boy is not invited like a birthday party, etc in front of the uninvited kid.
  • Just running away or suddenly talking in whispers with others on seeing the targeted kid.

Once we identify that our kid is being bullied we as parents need to be available as sounding boards, confidants. Anger is a natural reaction to being bullied. We should not teach our kids not to be angry as that builds up unrealistic pressure to be good even if the opposing party is being extremely mean.

Teach kids how to be angry. They have to react but constructively by voicing their displeasure, connecting with an adult to explain the issue.  Take support in parents, teachers, siblings, friends, counsellors.

You need to build up the child’s  self esteem so that they can stand  up for themselves and if  required ask for help without any fear.

Equip your kids with coping mechanisms like they need to be calm and walk away.  The bully is a bully only if you are ready to be their bait. By walking away you are no longer party to their bullying tactics. Also encourage talking to elders and sharing their daily routine, which is important so we know that they are both emotionally and physically safe.

We need to create a strong sense of belonging. Encourage and talk about the child’s strengths in front of the bullies.

Talk to the parents of the bullies if they are receptive enough.

bully-getting-beat-up-clipart-cliparthut-free-clipart-epXySP-clipartParenting can be tough but it is important to teach your child the value of healthy friendships and walking away from toxic ones. You can do so through story weaving and examples. Once the kid is confident and understands the signs of a healthy friendship then the more cautious the kid becomes in avoiding toxic ones.

Friendships should bring out the best in kids and not make them a pawn in someone else’s popularity climbing and egoistic attributes.

Make your child secure by empowering them with simple tips where they learn to look for kids who use kind words, one who stands up for them, listens and respects them, helps when required, points out flaws but helps improvise as well and is fun to be with and has many like minded traits like our kid.

Parenting involves making kids realise that the more they react or give in, the more the bully’ s behaviour gets escalated to a higher level so teach kids to deflect it with humor like” you are acting funny” or plain assertiveness by saying “knock it off”. Kids should show resolute strength while dealing with bullies and we as parents can help build the confidence and assertiveness.

So bullying in any form needs to be nipped at the bud by the parents. Accepting the bully behaviour of your child and working together with the school or the respective parents towards getting the bully off the mean nature to working towards becoming kinder.

No one has the power to control you unless you let them in yourself so Beware of bullies. Those who see bullying and do nothing are also silently partly responsible for it so stand up and tell an elder. Prevent bullies as both the victim and the bully are in need of help-One to be assured of being good and the other to be  rescued from his own complicated insecurities that project themselves in bullying and pulling others  down in order to feed the demons of insecurity off the target.

Below given are some thought provoking quotes regarding the matter at hand…

“Help Her Make Friends with her Anger! Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry”  — Lyman Abbott

“When all of us are acknowledged as the human equals that we really are, there will be no space left for bullying. It will no longer be wrong to choose one thing over another “Jason Mraz

“We focus so much on our differences, and that is creating, I think, a lot of chaos and negativity and bullying in the world. And I think if everybody focused on what we all have in common – which is – we all want to be happy”   – Ellen DeGeneres 





Image courtesy –  http://www.henry4school.fr/School/bullying/pict.htm http://www.clipartsuggest.com http://www.beverlyhi-p.schools.nsw.edu.au (main image)

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