It is every parentâ€™s fear to have their kids getting bullied in school. The life-long trauma is a possibility, not to mention poor performance in school as a result. Philippine schools have implemented the Anti-bullying Act (Republic Act 10627) to keep children safe in school. Based on the law, bullying can be any of the following: Â
…any severe or repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at another student that has the effect of actually causing or placing the latter in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm or damage to his property; creating a hostile environment at school for the other student; infringing on the rights of the other student at school; or materially and substantially disrupting the education process or the orderly operation of a school
Hence, government, schools and parents have come together to prevent this decade-long (or even longer) crisis called bullying in schools. On a more individual level, you can do a lot more in making sure your child does not get bullied in school, or maybe cut the practice abruptly at the onset. If you believe your child is being bullied, there are also ways to help him or her cope.
Foster open communication with your child
Talking with your child helps you become aware of your childâ€™s situation and feelings about with anything that bothers him. Building an open, and trusted relationship with your child from the beginning lets him know that you are a safe haven. It also gives him the assurance that you will be there for him through thick and thin. However, if you feel like your child is not telling everything to you, try to observe him in school or ask his teachers how heâ€™s doing. That will give you some clues whether things are right or not.
Teach acceptable, and respectful social behavior
Bullying is not only directed to kids whom they perceive as â€œpushoversâ€. Bullying can also happen even to those who seem to have superiority complex in them. So it is important to teach your child how to effectively socialize with other kids. Model respectful behavior towards others. Help them understand that stepping on anotherâ€™s foot, hurting peopleâ€™s feelings, or teasing them are not acceptable. This also prevents your child of becoming the bully himself. By being compassionate and sensitive to others, your child can gain friends instead of enemies.
Encourage self-confidence and assertion
A healthy self-concept and self-esteem will enable your child to be resilient and face bullies. He may experience hurt emotions, but when you teach him to assert himself, he is ready to say, â€œStop that!â€; or â€œThatâ€™s not nice!â€ to the bully. Some parents even go to the stretch of enrolling their child to self-defense classes to be sure they can protect themselves in cases of physical assault. We all hope this wonâ€™t ever happen! However, being assertive also means having the confidence to tell the teacher or an adult when he experiences bullying. This way, the attacker sees that your child is not a pushover.
Help practice self-control when provoked
Another way to help your child get out of trouble is to teach him self-control. You can do role-playing like teasing and provocation directed towards your child. Help him practise self-control instead of retaliating out of anger. This teaches him to gain a handle on his emotions. Instead of doing an act of counter violence, he can make use of a clear mind to guide his course of action: Tell an adult/school official/teacher.
Use the buddy system in school
When two or more classmates are gathered together, they are less-likely to be targets of bullying. Only when a situation finds your child alone (for example in a hallway, restroom, canteen, etc), will a bully strike. So help your child gain friends in school and have a buddy especially when he feels unsafe.
There are times when child bullying can happen in cyberspace (cyber bullying). This can cause a load of psychological trauma to a child. If this happens to your kid, be sure to inform the school authorities. They would normally call the parent of the child who did the bullying so as to hear both parties. It is best that you discuss things in a neutral, mediated setting with the school official.
Now that school season is about to start, your role as a parent goes beyond back to school shopping, and school enrollment duties. It is also your responsibility to equip him when faced with school challenges – not only academically, but socially as well. We hope this guide to bully-proof your child helps both of you a long way!
You might also like:
- Every Mom’s Back to School Guide: A Mom Survey
- Are you Ready for your First Day of School?
- 5 Ways to Enhance your Child’s Genius
- The Perfect Back to School Bag for your Child’s Personality
- 10 Hacks for Stress Free Back to School Shopping
- Why April is Actually the Best Time to Score Back to School Supplies