Is Your Child Being Bullied at School?
One of the biggest challenges a child can face during his development is being bullied at school
Bullying is any repeated act of aggression, whether verbal, physical, or online, that involves a power imbalance. A typical case would be when the bully is a couple of years older than your child that is being bullied at school.
Or the bullied child may usually be alone while the bully is accompanied by friends. The power imbalance may also be merely perceived, such as with a bully that is seen as “more popular.”
Being bullied can be an extremely traumatic experience. If the child is being bullied at school over a long period, it is quite common to see that he will have an increased risk factor for drug abuse, alcoholism, and abusive behavior in later years.
If you suspect your child is being bullied at school, it is imperative to intervene as soon as possible.
How can you know if your child is being Bullied at School?
There are a few signs that may indicate your child may be bullied at school.
- All of a sudden, your child can start to act strangely and feel depressed.
- They may also show signs of anxiety about going to school and may try to avoid going. Some children may complain of health issues to try to stay home. Another red flag is when your child doesn’t want to attend classes anymore and finds excuses to avoid going to school.
- The bullied child may also show a decrease in academic performance, such as a sudden drop in grades or GPA.
Effects of Being Bullied on Mental Health
A child who is frequently being bullied is at an increased risk for mental health concerns such as low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety disorders. Tragically, bullied children are also at an increased risk of suicide.
Some cases showed that those who were being bullied and engaged in bullying themselves were more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and in some cases, schizophrenia.
Obviously, bullying at school does not only has an impact on the child that is being bullied at school, but the mental health of the witnesses can also be affected over time. Every single person witnessing when your child is being bullied at school can experience negative effects on their mental health because of the internal conflict that witnessing physical or mental violence and injustice can cause in our subconsciousness. The effects on mental health are even more noticeable if the witness is in a weak position where he is not able to interfere while facing injustice.
How can you take action if you know that your child is being bullied at school?
If you know your child is being bullied at school you should go immediately talk with a teacher or a counselor from the school to report that your child is being bullied at school. The sooner they are aware of the fact that your child is being bullied at school, the faster they can take action.
The professionals at your child’s school can be present in the areas where the bullying usually takes place. The presence of an authority figure in conflictive areas significantly lowers the chance that your child will be bullied at school again.
Once the child feels safe, it has to be encouraged to reach out to a teacher or a counselor to talk about the bullying. Only by an open talk, this problem can be treated and solved. It is crucial that adults take part in this process.
If your child is being bullied at school, it is very likely that there is also cyberbullying going on. To avoid cyberbullying, you must be present when your child is on the internet and ready to intervene. If you have proof of cyberbullying, the best thing to do is to take a screenshot and to show this proof to the school principal.
It is important to create a safe space for your child to talk to you and a school professional about the bullying.
In some schools, bullying is becoming a problem on a large scale. The best thing you can do in that case is to talk with the professionals of the school to implement a program to make the children aware of the dangers of bullying and the harm that is done by bullying.
Always think that a child is in the process of growth and that the best way to guide him is by explaining and make him learn to distinguish right from wrong. With tact, you will see that even the bully will understand that his actions have further consequences that reach far beyond what he can imagine right now.
For help: Bullying.co.uk.
Extra information: The Ultimate Parent Guide for Protecting Your Child on the Internet