Bullying is never a nice topic. Especially when your child is bullied, or when you have experienced it as a child in the past, this can be a painful subject. But the consequences of bullying can also be of permanent expensive. That is why as a parent it is important to intervene as early as possible when you suspect that your child is being bullied at school. But how do you recognize whether your child is being bullied? And how can you best tackle this as a parent? You can read that here.
What does bullying actually mean?
According to the Netherlands Youth Institute, " bullying is a form of aggression that tries to always hurt someone ." Emotional or physical, that doesn't matter. In addition, the ways in which children can be bullied have also increased with the arrival of the internet. This makes it more difficult for children who are being bullied to find a safe environment where they can relax.
How do you recognize the signals of bullying?
Is your child being bullied? Then it is important that people talk together. Yet it may happen that a child would rather not share with his parents that he or she is being bullied. Shame or fear play a major role in harassment. But if your child does not talk, how do you notice that he or she is being bullied? These are a few signals that you can pay attention to:
- Withdrawn: children withdraw more often when they do not feel comfortable. They are hiding in their room or his quieter at home.
- Do not want to go to school anymore: going to school when you are bullied is terrible. Children will therefore do everything to avoid school. They often have abdominal pain or are "not tasty", everything to not have to go to school.
- Fewer friends over the floor: When children are bullied, this can have nasty consequences on the friendships they have. Are there suddenly fewer friends and girlfriends? Then this can be a signal.
- Poor sleep and nightmares: the stress and emotional roller coaster that bullied children experience at school, they take to bed at night. So your child can sleep worse or have nightmares.
Do these signals seem familiar to you? Then try to start a conversation with your child. Is this difficult? Then you can also choose to start the conversation at school, with the teacher.
Bullying: What can I do as a parent?
As a parent you feel completely powerless when your child is bullied. Fortunately, there are a few steps that you can take as a parent:
- Keep talking to each other: Although this can be difficult, it is important that a safe place remains at home to talk to each other. If your child really doesn't want to talk about bullying, try to involve a teacher or general practitioner.
- Make sure you are there for your child: if you are bullied as a child, then your world collapses. All the more important that you as a parent show that you are there for your child. That you take your child seriously, and stands behind your child when the situation rises high.
- Check phones and social media accounts: nowadays bullying is also done online via social media. Check if you can block bullying accounts or limit access to social media. Always make sure you take screenshots of the online harassment. This serves as evidence. Even if unwanted photos or videos are posted online, you can take action. Contact the administrator of the website or the account so that the visual material can be removed.