How do you know if your child is being bullied? What
are the signs?
Here are some things that should key your attention:
1. An - A - student rapidly drops to a - C - student.
2. Bruises or cuts that your child blames on other
3. A general depressed view of life.
4. A sudden unexplained aversion to wanting to go
5. Vanishing lunch money.
6. Getting in trouble for fights that your child swears
he or she didn't start.
All of these signs spell trouble, and need to be investigated
further. You as the parent need to put lots of attention on solving the problem.
If you ignore it, your child could at the least suffer lower self-esteem, poor grades,
little self-confidence and a future of the same. At worse, your child could be physically
hurt, or could even be killed.
What can you do to help your child if he or she is being
bullied? If you are going to choose to under-react or over-react, it's vital that
you over-react. Remember, the problem must be stopped immediately.
Talk to your child to find out who the bully is and
what he or she has been doing to your child. This may be difficult, because most
kids are ashamed to let their parents know what awful things have been done to them.
You must press on and find out all the details. Either the same day you find out,
or early the next morning go to the school and talk to the highest-ranked person
there (probably the principal) and scream bloody murder.
Once again, over-react. If you are gentle in your
approach with the school, little if anything will be done. Demand that the bully
be taken out of that class, or expelled from the school. Threaten law suits against
the school and against the parents of the bully if there is even the slightest bullying
against your child. If you don't get results go to the school board, pursue legal
Make life a living hell for the bully that attacked your
child. Your son or daughter will probably hate all the attention you are putting
on the situation, but for sure they will thank you for it later, and it is your
primary job as a parent to protect your child from harm. Follow up after your complaint
to the school. Ask your child if the bullying has stopped, go back to the school
over and over again until you get what you want. No one messes with your child.
School should be a pleasant learning experience for
your child. If he or she is being tormented everyday by a bully there is little
chance that your child will do well in school.
Bullying is always an escalating venture. It
starts out usually with name-calling. Just like the shark that bumps it's prey before
attacking, the bully will be checking to see if there is fear in his proposed victim.
If there is, he or she will continue with more and more humiliating attacks, such
as throwing objects like spit balls, paper airplanes, rocks and bricks. Use of liquids
such as glue on the chair seat, paint on the chair seat, throwing milk. Spitting
on the victim, spitting in the victim's food. Damaging the belongings of the victim.
Writing on the books, breaking into the victim's locker, stealing personal items
of the victim. Physical blows to the victim. Kicking the shin, the groin, the body,
Punching the stomach, the face, the shoulder, the back. Shooting the victim with
everything from a sling-shot to a shotgun.
I recall in fourth grade seeing a kid get his head
slashed open. As he was bent over to get a drink from the water fountain, the bully
kicked him in the rear driving his face into the water faucet and a brick wall.
The victim had to get twenty stitches. The bully got a detention.
It can get really bad for your child if you let it.
Bullying is not limited to school. It often happens in the neighborhood, at the
park, at after-school programs. There will always be bullies around your child.
Don't let your child be the victim.
Stopping the problem before it becomes a problem is always
the best tactic. Here's what you should teach your child to help them to deal with
bullies: Make sure your child understands that no matter how big and scary looking
the bully is, he or she does not have the right to hurt your child and that the
bully is being a bully because he or she is insecure and is a coward. You've got
to give your child the confidence to stand up to the bully.
Most all schools have a zero-violence policy. If a child
fights, that child gets sent home. Tell your child that when it comes to bullies,
you expect him or her to fight back and that you will support your child's actions
100%. Many kids never fight back against bullies because they are afraid
they'll be in trouble with their parents, and they allow the bully to harass them
for many years.
Teach your child to over-react to the threat of a bully
and to follow these guidelines: If some kid calls your child a bad word, he or she
should look the bully right in the eye and angrily command "Stop It!"
Immediately after, your child should go to the principal. Yard monitors for the
most part won't be of much help. Your child needs to go right to the top. If on
a subsequent occasion the bully physically touches your child in any manner, your
child should very forcefully slap the bullies hand off, and with eye contact and
a pointed finger-- command loudly "Don't EVER touch me again!"
Teach your son or daughter to have a defiant attitude
toward bullies. He or she should become very angry when a bully attempts physical
contact. Your child should then go straight to the principal's office to complain,
and call you at work or home. Once again, this should be made a very big deal.
It has to be so painful for the school when a bully tries
to hurt your child that everyone at the school goes out of their way to prevent
it from happening. If you under-react nothing will be done. Schools are
run as a bureaucracy and for anything to get done, you first have to get noticed.
You and your child need to cause a major ruckus every time there is a problem with
If it happens again that the bully physically touches
or harms your child, instruct your child to snap kick the bully in the groin full
power, and then to stand over the bully and say "You were warned, next time
I won't be so nice!!" Then again, right to the principal's office.
Your child might get suspended for the day. But, it
will change two people's lives forever and will be well worth it. Your son or daughter
will be changed because he or she will have learned to fight back, and with the
confidence gained from the experience, your child will most likely never be targeted
again as a bully's victim. Your child would also have done the bully a big favor.
The bully would have learned that it's not a good idea to go up to people and pick
on them. If the bully hadn't learned this lesson with your child, he might have
continued to bully people for many years. As an adult, the bully might go up and
harass an armed person who may not be as forgiving as your child was.
Bullying for a junior high school or high school student
can be a very dangerous proposition. The bully/victim relationship is basically
the same as it was in elementary school, but now the bullies are much bigger and
stronger and are capable of extreme damage. Especially in junior high school the
amount of bullying and fights increase dramatically. Most likely this is due to
the onset of adolescence.
Young adults try to establish a "pecking order"
at this age. To make sure your child doesn't end up on the low end of that order,
here are a few things to help: It's better to have friends than enemies. Encourage
your child to have as many friends as possible. Try to get your child to get involved
in team sports, and in some of the clubs available in junior high and high school.
In general, kids with a strong core group of friends don't get picked on much.
Once again, instill an indignant attitude in your child
toward bullies. Instruct your child to not let an aggressor get away with anything.
Should a bully attempt to torment your child, he or she should instantly fight back,
and then again go straight to the principal to report what happened and to call
you. Cause a stink, get results. If your child doesn't immediately fight back, the
hesitation will be interpreted as fear and will cause the bully's attacks to get
Do your child a big favor and teach them not to stand
for being bullied-- not now, not ever. This martial artist attitude will
give your child a happy, rewarding time during school and for the rest of his or
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