Tips to handle bullying

Posted by iChild, November 18, 2020 11:00 AM

By The Next Best Thing to Mummy

Bullying is horrible and there is no excuse for it in my opinion.

Thankfully I have never been bullied and neither have any of my children.

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A friend once told me that she was picked on at school by another girl ( it was over a boy which my friend said she didn’t even like much). Another girl who had designs on this particular boy told her, “Stay away from him, or else!”.

My friend decided that she wasn’t going to be told what to do by a bully, so the next time this girl came near, she took a deep breath and using all her courage she pushed her.  The bully walked away and never bothered her again

Standing up to bullies is recommended, but when my husband told our sons, "if anyone hits you, hit them back twice as hard", I remember thinking that two wrongs don’t make a right.

I would suggest that if your child is being bullied, first of all, talk to them about it calmly. Going straight to the school about it may not be what your child wants and sometimes this makes the problem worse. Get to the bottom, as far as you can, of what is happening before deciding the next step. 

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I once heard a school head teacher say to a parent, "we don’t have a bullying problem in our school” when he was asked about the bullying policy. I felt that this was a poor answer to the question. All schools have at least one bully, I fear. Every school should have an anti-bullying policy, which parents are entitled to see, and schools are now expected to display their policies on their websites.

If your child is the one doing the bullying sit down and talk to them about it. My biggest tip is not to look them in the eye, do an activity together while chatting, such as cooking or going for a walk. Even chatting while driving and looking at the child through the rear view mirror can work , as this is less confrontational  than looking them straight in the eye.

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In recent times, children have to deal with cyber bullies on social networks, such as Facebook, as well as face to face bullying. This is something that was not around when I was growing up. Something as simple as not getting enough ‘likes’ on a post can be enough reasons for bullying, as if there weren’t already too many.

Children sadly will always find reasons to bully another child, if they have goofy teeth, a big nose, or a funny name - anything that might be different. Other children may join in to ensure that they are safely 'part of the crowd', and so not in the firing line themselves. 

As a child minder I had bullying written into my behaviour management policy, where I stated that I didn’t tolerate physical or verbal abuse of any kind.

Try to stay calm when talking to your children about bullying.

By The Next Best Thing to Mummy

You might also enjoy the iChild Anti-Bullying activities.

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