Bullying is more than just a part of growing up. It is a form of aggressive or violent behavior shown to children who are quieter, shyer, or less outgoing than the bully.
Bullies are concerned only with their needs, and are willing to use other children to get what they want. Adults know this behavior is unacceptable, but often don’t know when they should step in and take action, if at all. Important factors to consider before making an action are how an adult feels about handling the situation, and how a child or teenager feels about having an elder stick up for them.
But if a child is being bullied, what should the parent do to help them? They can listen to them and encourage them to talk freely about their problems. Don’t dismiss any important complaints they have about bullies. By helping the child learn social skills, the adult is making it easier for them to make friends instead of enemies. A parent can teach their child ways to resolve arguments without violent words or actions. “If my child was being bullied, I would arrange a conference with the school, myself, my child, the bully, and his mother or father. We would come to some sort of resolution to the problem,” says Barbara Fry.
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But a child or a teenager must have a say in what they would like to do about resolving the problem of bullying. “If I was being bullied, I would want my mommy to stick up for me,” says 9 year-old Kelsey Lauerer. Most children would like an elder to be there to support and defend them. However, the same issue with teenagers must differ. Sam Zammit, age 15 says, “If some other kid was bullying me I would find a way to handle it myself. I wouldn’t want my parents or another person older than me to do something about it, unless I couldn’t take care of it myself.”
Be aware of symptoms that children may be victims of a bully. A drop in grades, torn clothes, or needing more money for lunch may be indicative of this. Victims of bullying behavior are most likely targeted because of emotional conduct more than physical traits. Typical victims tend to be timid, bashful, and lacking confidence in themselves. If an adult knows their child is being abused at school, they should contact the principal or person in charge immediately. Having a number of people aware of the problem will push along the attempt to fix it.
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