Bullying continues to be a big problem in schools all over the country as research revealed that between 1 in 4 students have experienced bullying in school. The study also showed that most of the bullying happens in middle school. While there is a growing awareness of the problem, it is believed that bullying is increasing and remains a serious concern. Perhaps one of the most troubling things about bullying is that only 36% of students report it, and parents may be unaware that their children are going through this problem in school. Single dads, whether your children live with you or not, it’s imperative to help your them deal with bullying in school the right way.
How parents usually react to bullying
In a survey, it was found that 35% of parents would spend time trying to understand why the bullying happened, while 15% would arrange a meeting with school authorities to discuss the matter. Mothers also seem to be more aware of bullying as 37% of mothers say that their child has been bullied, compared to the 26% of fathers who can say the same. Dad, in what ways can you become more aware of bullying in school? Moreover, to find time to teach your child ways to deal with bullying in a positive way? Here are some quick tips on the matter:
Let your child know that they’re not alone
Most children who are bullied begin to think that there must be something that encourages a bully to pick on them. Let your child know that they are not alone and that it can happen to anyone. If you’ve ever experienced being bullied in your youth, share your story and make yourself available and listen to your child. During this difficult time, it helps to think back to when you were that age and put yourself in your child’s shoes to be able to understand what they are feeling.
Help your child to have more confidence
Children with low self-confidence are often targeted by bullies. Moreover, children who feel anxious because of changing family circumstances such as a separation or divorce can be a potential target for bullying. Look for opportunities to help build your son’s or daughter’s self-confidence—such as participating in extracurricular activities like athletics or music. Praise your child for their achievements and encourage them to pursue their interests.
Establish a rapport with teachers
Make it a point to establish a rapport with teachers and school authorities and communicate with them in a friendly and open way. Know that they are your allies and that they can support you if ever your child gets bullied.
Don’t react negatively
Should you ever learn your child has been bullied, it’s important to stay calm and not react negatively. Remember that it’s not about you and that your child needs your support more than ever. Listen to your child and be sensitive to the situation.
Teach them how to face their bully
When confronted by a bully, most children are at a loss for words. Teach your kids the right way to communicate with bullies: tell them not to shout, cry, or be mean in return as this will not resolve the situation. A few statements said in a calm manner such as “You don’t have to be mean to me,” or “Aren’t you tired of this yet?” before walking away should suffice.
One of the primary responsibilities of any parent is to help your child cope with the difficulties in life. By teaching them to deal with bullies in a positive way, your child will feel more confident and safer as he or she navigates the various trials that may come their way—all while knowing that you’re there for them.
Blog contribution written and provided by Jackie Edwards.