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Help With Bullying for Parents and Children

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Help With Bullying for Parents and Children Powered By Docstoc
					Many parents have the wrong attitude towards bullying. Some think that it 鈥檚
mostly harmless teasing that toughens children up and prepares them for the big bad
world they will be living in as adults. Unless their child is coming home from school
with bruises, cuts, and tears flowing then they probably won 鈥檛 even realize that
there 鈥檚 a problem. Some are bullies themselves, and will quite happily ignore any
issues, or simply use the dreaded, 鈥渟 tand up for yourself 鈥?command. These are
not the correct ways to stamp out or ease any problems.
  Studies show that around 50% of children report being bullied with around 15%
saying that the bullying occurs on a daily basis. These are staggering and very
depressing numbers. There is a therefore a high probability that your child will be
confronted with nasty bullying behavior at some point during her schooling.
  If you have been through bullying yourself, or if you have experience of dealing
with a bullied child, then you will know how much of a negative impact it has on a
child. It can destroy a child 鈥檚 confidence and make her physically sick. It can ruin
her whole school life, making her feel friendless, unsupported, isolated, depressed,
shy, nervous, anxious, scared, and it can rip apart the very essence of her well-being
to the point where her health greatly suffers. Harmless teasing that she should deal
with? I don 鈥檛 think so!
  If your child is unfortunate enough to suffer from being the target of a bully, or
bullies, then it is not guaranteed that she will come to you for help and support. Do
not assume that because you haven 鈥檛 been approached by your child for help that
no help is needed. The fear that goes with being bullied is immense, and children
often do not seek assistance from anyone. As a responsible parent that loves your
child deeply, you therefore need to know what to look out for, to notice the signs and
signals that may point to your precious offspring being targeted by bullying types.
  Some of the signs to look out for that may be an indication that your child is being
bullied are:
  - Not enjoying school and looking for ways to avoid attending.
  - Bruises, cuts, welts, scratches, rips in clothing with no proper explanation for them.
- Sudden changes in the route to school or avoiding the school bus.
- Being ill on the mornings before school.
- Bed wetting or an unusually poor sleep routine.
- Asks money more often, or starts stealing.
- Seems to dread attending school.
- Her possessions go missing.
- Says she is okay when clearly she is not.
- Becomes withdrawn, anxious, or depressed, and refuses to talk about it.
- Shows signs of becoming a bully herself, especially to her siblings.
- Unwilling to participate in school activities.
- Shows an interest in suicide.
- Her school work deteriorates or grades go down suddenly.
- Has nightmares or cries herself to sleep.
- Her eating suffers or she doesn 鈥檛 seem hungry.
- Starts skipping school.
- A sudden drop in confidence.
- You notice a difference in the way her peers treat her.
- Has far less friends than you would expect, or misses out on social activities.
- Insists that you take her to school for no obvious reason.
- Shows a big difference in her mood at weekends or holiday times.
- Any sudden changes in personality, habits, or mental state.
  Of course, some of these signs will not point to bullying at all and are completely
normal in the average child 鈥檚 life, but look out for abrupt changes and a
combination of signs. It is essential that you be aware at all times, ready to act if you
think that bullying may be the cause of any of these troubles, and communicate with
your child about it as soon as possible.
  As soon as you know your child is the victim of bullying then talk to her as soon as
possible. Be gentle, reassuring, and understanding. Do not try to brush away the
problem or make it seem small and insignificant because it is not. Ensure that you tell
her that it is not her fault 鈥?many children feel that they are to blame when they are
bullied. Try to discover the depth of the bullying. If it 鈥檚 a teasing issue, encourage
tried-and-tested methods that might help. Ignoring the bully, walking away, or using
humor to deflect the bullying, is sometimes the perfect solution.
  If you need to contact your child 鈥檚 school for help then write down what is
happening, who is doing it, and when it is occurring. You child may not want you to
intervene, so explain that the school is used to dealing with bullying and most
bullying situations need adults to intervene to stop them. As you begin to tackle the
bullying be sure to keep an ongoing record of every step taken and everything that
your child tells you is happening. Be as accurate as you possibly can because bullies
can be extremely good at denying and twisting the truth to support their actions.
  Seek the help of your child 鈥檚 teacher at first to form a plan of action to stop the
problem. Your child 鈥檚 school should have an anti-bullying strategy or trained
anti-bullying staff. Do not attempt to confront the bully yourself, or the family of the
bully. Your emotions are almost certain to be running very high in defense of your
child, and it 鈥檚 likely that you will make the problem worse. Do not seek revenge
鈥?just focus on stopping the bullying.
  Schools have anti-bullying policies in place and these are usually very effective. As
soon as it is necessary, your child 鈥檚 school will contact parents of the bully and
explain the consequences of continued harassment. If the problem persists then these
consequences should be enforced immediately.
  By learning what to look for, spotting the signs from your child and talking to her,
understanding the problem and being sympathetic, and acting in the appropriate way,
you should be able to put an end to a thoroughly miserable part of your child 鈥檚
life.
  Parenting Advice

				
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posted:2/22/2011
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