When most people think of a school bully, they imagine a large, strong male child with a fierce look in his eyes which strikes terror in anyone he passes in the hallway. In fact, bullies can come in any age, sex, build or socioeconomic background. They make life miserable for those that they terrorize, so it is important to understand how to identify a bully and what to do when your child is targeted by one.
What is Bullying?
There are many tactics that bullies use to intimidate, humiliate, or coerce a person into doing what they want. Perhaps they threaten to tell a secret to everyone in the school if they don’t get their way or may even spread lies. With the ease of internet access, online bullying is at the tip the bully’s fingers. The bully can make cruel remarks on a social media website that criticizes the child’s looks, opinions, or beliefs. Though, the worst type of bullying is when another child starts to physically assault others.
What Can You do About Bullying?
The worst thing a child can do is to hide the bullying from you. Sometimes, bullies threaten children to not help. Therefore, out of fear of retaliation, the child will keep putting up with it. But this is just what the bully wants. As long as it stays a secret, they can keep getting away with it. So the best thing to do is to report it to the school immediately. And if they won’t do anything about it, then it might be time to call local law enforcement so legal actions can be taken.
What are the Signs Your Child is Being Bullied?
The feelings of helplessness and despair that come from being bullied can lead to a wide array of symptoms that parents should look for. The child may become quiet and withdrawn around friends and family members. Perhaps, they stay in their room more than usual. Their appetite or sleeping patterns are negatively impacted. There may be a regression in bedwetting or soiling or sudden school refusal. In the most severe cases, the child may present suicidal thoughts.
Long-term bullying can have severe emotional consequences on a child who often feels powerless to stop it all. It can also start to affect their self-esteem, so they begin to have feelings of worthlessness. That is why it is crucial that they get help from professionals like BESDC. They can receive counseling and other types of therapy to help them heal and recover.
BEHAVIORAL & EDUCATIONAL SOLUTIONS, PC is the allied health team that will provide support, resources, solutions, respite, and education to Metro DC families so parents and children can increase engaged quality time together. All services are provided in English and Spanish, and can be delivered in the office, home, or school depending on the individual needs of the case. Contact us!