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How to Pick up Signs if Your Child is bullied by their Peers – How to Help Them?

How to Pick up Signs if Your Child is bullied by their Peers – How to Help Them?

Schools have now been reopened and kids are back to some sort of normality after a long summer break and distance learning.  However, this will have its own challenges at some point as kids return to their normal routine and some with new form of verbal and in some extreme, physical negative interactions.

We all remember the daunting incidence of bullying which took place in one of the renowned schools in Dubai before lock down.  A heart-crushing video of a bullying incident went viral over social media. The 57-second video showed a young teenage girl crying, being talked down to, and even having her hair pulled.

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) and the police got involved as the video went viral over social media and the school took action promptly.

As a result, we decided to add a post in our blog, which can provide insight to the parents in Dubai to protect their children from this act of violence which can also take place over video meeting applications.

What is Bullying?

Bullying is when someone is deliberately hurt by either words or actions of another person who has power over them – it could be ongoing.  It can happen anywhere, mostly in schools, neighborhoods, playgrounds as young kids don’t have the power to protect themselves.  It can also happen on social media and video meeting applications which most kids these days use for distance learning.

It can cause instant or long-term devastating consequences on the victim.

Identifying Bullying:

When teasing becomes unkind and consistent, it can be harmful. Teenagers are at higher risk.

Single incidents or random acts of aggression between two equal parties are not determined as part of bullying.

There may be two types of bullying. Physical and mental.

  • Physical bullying involves hitting, yelling, making rude gestures, or pushing.
  • Whereas Mental Bullying involves making fun of others, laughing at someone, or trying to make them feel bad about themselves mostly virtually these days.
  • Another form of bullying is cyberbullying – it occurs when someone makes use of technology to hurt or harm someone else through texts, internet, and social media.

Warning Signs that Your Child is Being Bullied:

It’s not uncommon for a child to remain silent if he/she is being bullied.  Sometimes kids don’t speak up or talk to their parents about what has been going on.  Unless your child tells you about it – it can be hard to figure out what’s happening to them.  Parents can look for signs and know if their child is being bullied by their peers.

  • Parents can notice if the child is acting differently, seem stressed, or easily upset.
  • Unwillingness of the child to go to school or distance learning
  • Has torn clothes, books, when they come back from school.
  • Have unexplained injuries, scratches, bruises over face or body.
  • Unable to sleep or eat.
  • Not wanting to interact with family or showing intense emotional reactions
  • The child appears sad, depressed after coming back from school
  • Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, hurting themselves, or talking about it

Why Does the Victim of Bullying Remain Silent?

According to a survey, 60% of bullying is not reported to an adult.  A majority of kids tend to remain silent if they undergo bullying as they have their reasons.

Sometimes the child feels it’s their fault that they looked/acted differently, they wouldn’t be treated in the same manner.  In some cases, the child feels pressured from the bully – if they told someone it would get worse.

Some kids feel their parents will not believe or neglect them if they told them what is happening to them or even urge them to fight back.

How to Help Them:

  • If the child opens up about such a situation, make him/her feel comfortable and protected.
  • Praise your child and tell them they did the right thing by consulting with an adult.
  • Remind them they are not alone. 
  • Emphasise the fact that the bully is the bad kid and not them
  • Reassure them; you will figure out how to deal with the situation.
  • Speak to the school and seek devise

Conclusion:

Bullying should be taken seriously as it can leave deep emotional scars on a child’s mind.  Parents should not neglect if they suspect signs of bullying in their children. In extreme cases, bullying can trigger tragedies. It should be controlled immediately whenever you suspect signs.  Dealing with bullying can erode a child’s confidence. Provide them a listening ear. Students from all over the world experience bullying.  Parents, teachers, and school authorities should take this matter seriously to avoid severe consequences.