Bullying involves either physical or verbal abuse and can range from simple teasing to pushing and hitting. Children who are victims of bullies tend to be quiet, sensitive and anxious with low self-esteem. They react to bullying by crying, acting out or withdrawing and tend not to confide in anyone about the bullying. Therefore, it is necessary that parents look for signs in their child if they think he or she has been a victim of bullying.
These signs typically include behaviors that avoid going to school, such as headaches or stomachaches. A child may have problems sleeping and may seem afraid to go to school. There may also be a change in personality and a drop in grades. If parents see any of these signs and suspects that bullying is involved, they should ask their child about it directly or ask more open-ended questions about what happens at recess or lunchtime, when children tend to be under less supervision.
If a child has been bullied, he or she should not be taught to fight back as this may only worsen the situation and cause the child to get in trouble at school. The best approach parents can take is to try to develop more assertiveness and self-confidence in their children. One way to do this is to enroll the child in a martial arts class, not so much to learn how to fight back but to help build self-esteem and self-confidence.
Parents can also talk with school officials about the bullying so that the actions of the bully can be observed and intervention can take place when necessary. Parents can also teach their child to not respond to the bully or walk away completely. Having a strong voice and showing self-confidence can go a long way to preventing the actions of a bully in the first place.