Tips to Stop Bullying as a Parent
Every child deserves a safe and fun trip to the park without harassment and bullying from any poorly mannered children attending the park. This can be an extremely irritating issue as a parent and can honestly make you want to punish a stranger’s child for being such a little jerk. Here i will be discussing 6 ways friends at the park bully, and 6 ways to stand up for your child during these horrible situations.
These are not all of the ways children bully each other, nor all the ways to correct the obnoxious behavior, but they are the basic ins and outs and how to keep your cool as a rightful angry parent without any violence.
This is typically the first kind of intentional bullying that children learn and begin to use from as early as preschool. The essential key bullying part of this is the exclusion, leaving someone out purposely. For example: Say little Sally is having a birthday party and is told to hand out invitations to the entire class, instead of inviting the entire class, sally decides to invite everyone except 3 particular students she didn’t consider friends.
That is exclusion, and it happens quite often due to the passive aggressive nature of the bullying itself, but when other children are pulled into the harassment it can become a very verbal and humiliating kind of bullying when the entire class teases 2-3 individuals because of one child’s poor manners.
This can be a problem on the playground in multiple ways such as exclusion in group games, sports, and playing on the playground equipment like the slide or monkey bars. Watch out for this and keep reading to find out sufficient ways on correcting this behavior in your child and others at the playground.
Another commonly used form of bullying by most children ages 3-17 is that of name calling. Consisting of verbal abuse from one child to the other or through a group. Examples of this bullying can be “stupid, dumb, gay, poo, ugly, ect.” and any variation of an insult directing another child and a name being called.
This is extremely petty things most children do and to be sure to stop the behavior is to listen for these kinds of things and correct it as it should be corrected, as well as stop it from the root by teaching your child manners and how to avoid this situation from other children.
This is common on the playground because children are running around, screaming, playing, and everyone is a stranger making poorly mannered children much more likely to bully without thought of discipline or wrongdoing.
Physical abuse can be devastating to the child who was victimized and the abuser on a psychological level. A child who has been physically hit by another child can be scarred for life just from that one event, causing ptsd later in life while witnessing or experiencing violence.
The child who is doing the hitting can develop prolonged mental conditions that cause a violent nature during stressful situations all the way up to adulthood. This is a very important form of bullying to catch and correct immediately for prevention of potential mental problems later in life. Physical bullying is most commonly seen in boys, most of the time coming from backgrounds where physical punishment is practiced and are taught by the parents to physically fight back.
This is seen on the playground and at school very often, typically a kick, hit, or shove, which evolves into a much bigger problem with time unless intervened from the start. Keep an eye out for physical abuse and learn how to police it as a parent.
Although I have already listed name calling, I will also be discussing verbal abuse as a whole. Name calling is indeed a form of verbal abuse, but it isn’t as personal as the profiling side of things, that’s where the entire realm of verbal abuse comes into play. Profiling means the analyzing of a person’s behavioral, physical, and psychological characteristics and qualities.
This can be racial, all the way to wealth, and almost anything can be profiled. It’s basically the fuel to why nerds were bullied by jocks despite the nerds becoming successful in the future. It’s based on appearance, just like most of history, and the behavior can be blamed on the parent’s beliefs and racial views.
Being laughed at for wearing glasses or being asian but wearing “white clothes”, are both examples of verbal abuse and profiling, but obviously there are a million different examples that kids will come up with just to harass each other. This is easy to spot because it usually involves exclusion as well as accompanied by laughter and pointing. Watch out for this on your next trip to the park with your child.
Gossiping and Rumors
Almost all of us have experienced a time when a rumor was spread about us that wasn’t even close to the truth and it ended up hurting our reputation in one way or another. It’s not fair to anybody, especially to a child.
Rumors start from one person gossiping to another, to which that information is twisted from the start or twisted through swapping of the information, eventually becoming this horrible fat lie that has no truth in it at all.
Only certain children like to gossip, typically little girls are suspects of this form of bullying. This is a hard thing to spot because it is heard through word of mouth, not visible to adults.
An issue that occurs in everyday society also occurs in the classroom and park, that being theft. Nobody likes a thief, especially when the theft becomes a form of bullying to your child. Children are not always keen to share which sprouts a problem, mostly in kids aged 2-7 but it can vary. A refusal to share a toy will most likely cause issues between two children and end with an unhappy child.
One child will take the opportunity to take the toy for themselves and run away regardless if they own the toy or not. This will sprout physical abuse between the two and is just not a good situation. Correct this and the other forms of bullying by following these guidelines as a parent that i have listed down below.
What to Do and How to Prevent it
What do you do as a parent in these situations? Do i intervene or go find the parents? Do i need to teach my child skills to prevent these situations for the future? All the information you need is below.
Children with low self esteem are often the first victims of the playground bully. They are vulnerable because bullies feed off of fear and humiliation. Teach self respect and healthy self esteem to make your child “bully proof” by practicing proper hygiene, manners, and discuss your child’s talents and hobbies they are interested in. It’s really all in the parent example and how parents are presented to their children, monkey see, monkey do.
Promote the Importance of Friendship
Teaching your child that it is important to engage in friendships with other safe children can help with a support system against the bully. Bullies love bystanders, especially the children who encourage the bullying, but when the crowd is instead standing up for the victim, the bully will feel powerless. Teaching your child to stand up for their friends will protect them as well as their friends when the time comes.
Discuss Body Language
Teaching your child to improve their body language can scare off a bully without even a word. Like stated above, bullies feed off of insecurities and fear, making your child look more assertive and self-assured while also using good eye contact can intermediate a bully out of their ways.
But remember, never encourage your child to fight back or provoke the bully, because this will just make your child a bully as well. It is very important though, to make sure your kid does know how to defend themselves and what to do in a situation if they are physically attacked.
The first thing should be to seek help from an adult, but if there’s ever a time when their life is in danger or they can not escape the physical attack it is definitely best to make sure they can escape the situation safely and seek help.
When and How to Intervene
If you see a situation where a child is being bullied, watch carefully to see if the victim being bullied can handle the situation. If so there is no need to come in to help, all you need to do is discuss the situation with the victim and the bully after the fact. If the victim is continuing to be bullied and does honestly need help that is when you step in between the children. When stepping in, you need to address the issue, separate the children, and if need be find the parents.
Remember to be calm, many parents will take things in a completely different way. Respect is key when dealing with people of that nature, discussing the problem without directing negativity to their child will resolve the problem most of the time. If not you might as well find a new park where the parents and children are more mannered and easy going. A great method of avoiding bullying is making sure that your kid knows what bullying is.
It is going to happen at some point, and its best for them to talk about it, talk about how they feel, and know how to avoid the situations. If they can not avoid the situations, its best to make sure they have self confidence and do not take the bullying to heart.
Overall it’s on the parents, to prevent, as well as teach sufficient strategies to avoid a bullying situation. The world is already hateful enough, and encouraging our children to continue that example will only repeat the cycle. We all need to work together in order to shape the world into the loving and safe place it needs to be.