Dealing with Bullying

Bullying is very common during pre-teenager days. Pre-teens usually love making fun of their peers who are different from themselves. A bully is often considered to be a person with low-self esteem.If your child allows herself to become a victim of bullying, she might develop low self-esteem herself. 

Remember that bullying is different from that occasional teasing each other for fun and enjoyment. Some typical symptoms of your child being bullied are: she is always anxious or upset, she does not eat or sleep well and she lacks interest in doing things that she usually enjoys.


Dealing with Bullying

Bullying can be either physical or verbal. If your child is being beaten by her peer or another child, it is called physical bullying. Physical bullying also involves destroying your child's properties. If her peer taunts her with words, it is called verbal bullying. So long as teasing does not involve any harm, it is not considered as bullying. In some cases, your pre-teenager will know for herself how to combat her bullies. If you notice that she finds it difficult to do so, you can take that extra step to help her.

Some ways that you can encourage your pre-teenager to overcome being bullied are:

Encourage your child to open up to you freely about being bullied. If she refuses to open up, you may have to use a round-about approach. For example after both of you watch a program on television together, you can discuss it with her.

Offer comforting and understanding words even though you may be disappointed about your child being bullied. Take care not to show her the disappointment.

Give her examples of how you or an elder sibling was bullied. Tell her what you did to stop being bullied.

Assure your pre-teenager that she is not alone to be bullied. There are others like her who are victims of bullying. Stress on the fact that it is the bully who is showing bad manners and not her.

Teach your child to feel good about herself. Even if she does not feel brave within herself, teach her not to show it on the face. This will only provoke the bully. Ask her to pretend to be brave and tell the bully that she does not care about what the bully says or does. Tell her that bullies are usually cowards.

If you notice that the person bullying your child is her school mate, talk to her teacher and principal about it. Use their help to resolve the problem. Do not try to contact the bully's parents yourself. However, you must first try to assess the severity of the situation yourself before approaching her school staff.

Train your child to support and protect others who are being bullied. This may give bullies an idea that she will not tolerate their actions.

Help your child make friends. If she feels that she will meet the bully as she walks down the school corridor, ask her to go along with her friend. Also train her to back up for a friend who is being bullied.

If your child feels that she is being bullied, ask her to just walk away from the place. Tell her to act as if she has not heard the bully. Bullies usually lose interest when they find no reaction to their act of offending. Tell her not to comply with the demands of the bully.

Get her involved in activities that boost self-esteem. Participation in sports, training in music or art are good ideas.