Any child who unfortunately experiences bullying will feel less confident than when bullying situation began. Building back up self-confidence is absolute key to solving any bullying situation and put a stop to it in the long term. Although any bullying situation may need the intervention of an adult whether that be a parent, teacher or a responsible adult designated to dealing with the circumstances the child will need confidence and self-worth to stop a bullying predicament reoccurring. Those children who possess high self-esteem and confidence are maybe less likely to experience bullying as they may come across as strong rather than weak.
Bullies tend to target children who are different i.e.
- Smaller children - children who are smaller than their peers seem to be open to bullying as they are seen as weak in terms of strength
- Children considered overweight – we live in a nation of obesity so it should be a common occurrence to see children heavier than they should be but even children who are obese are still seen as different and lack confidence due to their weight. Children who are obese cannot participate in some activities due to their weight so are often left out. Bullies see obsess children as a target especially to name calling.
- Intellectual children – this is a difficult one but bullies may feel intimidated by children that are clever and set out ways to find avenues to intimidate that child so that the bully feels superior. Children sometimes who are intellectually clever have poor social skills and a bully will use this to their advantage.
- Poor interaction and social skills – children with who are non-assertive and lack in self-confidence are primary targets for any bully. Bullies know that children who are passive already have a low self-esteem and are unlikely to confront an adult and tell of this behaviour. Bullies themselves often lack self-esteem but by bulling a person with little or no confidence allows the bully to feel above such a person.
This is why building a child’s confidence and self-worth is vital even if there is no evidence of bullying as it makes the child more assertive and willing to learn and encourages progress or it can put a stop to any bullying that may occur in the future.
Children who have a high level of confidence very often can interact with others on any level and have good social skills especially when it comes to making friends. Dealing with difficult situation can be over bearing for those children who lack confidence and very often when they are put in a position by where they are being bullied they do not possess the skills to know how to deal with this type of behaviour.
Here are ways to help your child to build inner confidence:
- Always tell you child how special and loved they are
- Uniqueness is something to be valued and each and every child is different in their own way
- Praise your child when praise is due and encourage them in all aspects of life
- If a child is being bullied go through their experiences and show them outlets, responses, when to walk away, and when to inform a responsible adult
- Selfdefence classes are an option especially if the child is encountering physical bullying
- Help them to understand why bullies bully, that is it usually down to problems the bully faces itself
Children who are concerned with bulling are the most important aspects of the situation and they are not yet mature enough to know why bullying takes places. It can have detrimental effects on their lives without them even knowing. Children find it difficult to establish if they are actually being bullied or they are bullying another. Some are surprised when an action is redeemed as bullying. Children who are bullying do not always recognise their behaviour as being bullying and intimidation but simply as a disagreement or argument. The one thing that is clear is that children recognise it is bullying if it is continuous and happens on more than one occasion. Children who are being bullied too fail to recognise at first that they are actually being bullied it is not until the anxious and fearful fears take hold that they realise something isn’t right.
Professional Views – Teachers
Most schools take bullying very seriously as they are not only concerned about the child being bullied but also the reputation of the school as parents would not want to send their child to a school that is seen to allow bullying. It is true that it s not always clear to see what a school is doing to tackle the bullying as parents often comment that the school have no real force over bullies and if they did less bullying would take place. Teachers believe that if they can get a good relationship parents and open communication channels bullying can be kept at a limit. Teachers advertise that they are open and understanding to possible issues at home and if parents advise them on this they can deal with the situation to prevent the child feeling isolated and insecure therefore preventing a possible case of bullying.
Most teachers feel that bullying is usually due to a primary underlying concerns very often an issue at home or with fellow peers. It has been said that the way children behave whether good or bad has a legitimate reason and the child just needs to be understood. If the behaviour is deemed wrong then it is highly possible that it is ‘a cry for help’. Children need to learn about boundaries and how to communicate with others on all levels if this type of teaching is not taught then the child can very easily run into behavioural difficulties such difficulties some teachers see as bullying.
Parents dealing with bullying whether your child is the bully or being bullied find it to be a difficult time. Being a parent is a learning process than comes without a manual or textbook and as children are unique so can situations they go through in life. Parents often feel anxious and helpless when dealing with bullying as they are at a loss on how to tackle it. Dealing with a bullying situation can be an emotional time and can have a huge impact on the whole family. There in no one set of instruction that tells a parent how to deal with a situation. Obviously there is help out there and guidance but they find it difficult to locate such services and not any one situation is the same and must be dealt with accordingly.
A parent may have been bullied when they was little and may notice the tell tale signs immediately and know in fact how their child is feeling and have a better perspective on how to deal with it. For those parents who have never encountered such situation dealing with the issue may seem more difficult but remaining calm and understanding is key, even after the situation is dealt with the child will still need encouragement and support.
Very often a child who has been bullied will feel incredibly sad, fearful and probably scared and dealing with this situation can feel quite daunting to any parent. Listening to your child and understanding their fears is key inorder to progress to building the child’s confidence and this will have taken a massive knock. Differentiating between signs of bullying and a child simple telling tales can be sometimes be difficult but if you always take a child’s complaints serious and listen closely discovering the tell-tale signs will be much simpler. If a child is being bullied or intimidated it’s almost impossible for the child to turn it around as it is so fearful and in most circumstances the situation needs an adult, parent or teacher to intervene and solve the problem.
Dealing with a child’s feelings
According to specialists in this field a boy will deal with the fallout of bullying different to how a girl will deal with it. Boys tend to become angry and discontent if they are being bullied, they may take their anger out on other siblings if they have them or be more distant towards their parents. Whereas, girls tend to feel sad and rejected if they are unfortunate enough to experience bullying but both boys and girls will have a low self-esteem.
The actual degree of the fallout behaviour relies heavily on the amount of bullying a child is actually going through. If the child is showing an intense amount of anger or seems severely upset, withdrawn and depressed then this is a clear indicator that the child is receiving a large amount of bullying that is continuously rather than occasionally.
Naturally parents are very protective and will often go to any lengths when it comes to protecting their children especially from those who cause the child harm and confronting the bullies seems like the primary action most parents would take however, this maybe more detrimental to the situation making the person doing the bullying a lot more angrier. The first step in any bullying situation is to establish how the victim is feeling and take this on board showing them that you recognise that their feelings are valid. Ensure that you let them know that whatever they are feeling is fine and that expressing how you feel will help others to understand the situation. If the child is feeling confused this is perfectly normal and trying to help them make any kind of sense of the behaviour of another child might contribute to the child understanding the position they are in.
Building a Picture of the Situation
Children may not express how they are feeling the way adults can, their language and dialogue are much more simpler and inorder for an adult to gain insight into the struggle the child is facing then they must come down to their level. Literally, bring yourself to your child’s height or even sit down next to each other as an adult bearing over a child can give them priority and dealing with bullying means the breaking down of hierarchal positions so the child feels comfortable. Choice of words should be chosen carefully so the child is aware of the meaning and understanding and can relate to them even if the conversation takes on roles as bully and victim.