Rise Up with Love
Taking Up the Fight Against Bullying
Published: June 3, 2021
photo by Tabitha Graves
Parents are naturally protective of their kids. They do everything in their power to shield their children from harm and prevent them from feeling pain. While they do an admirable job, there are untoward incidents that may escape their watch, such as bullying.
Breaking Down Bullying
Bullying is the act of deliberately and repeatedly upsetting, frightening, threatening, or hurting someone, targeting to undermine their property, reputation, or social status. Bullying can be verbal (insults, threats, making fun of someone), done behind someone’s back (playing nasty jokes, spreading gossip, encouraging social exclusion), physical (pushing, tripping, or hitting someone), or digital (cyberbullying to deliberately harass or humiliate netizens).
According to PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, around 20% of students are reportedly being bullied, with 41% thinking that the bullying can be recurring. Some of the reasons for bullying include physical appearance, race/ethnicity, gender, disability, religion, and sexual orientation.
Whatever its form may be, bullying is hurtful, and left unnoticed, it can create permanent emotional damage to your child. If you think that your child is a victim of bullying, help them overcome this hurdle by doing the following:
Actively listen to how your child is feeling.
Talk to your child somewhere quiet and give them your undivided attention. Allow them to share their story and convey your interest by asking questions that would encourage them to provide more information about their experiences.
Assure them that you’re here to help.
Victims of bullying can feel severely weak or alone. Show your child that they can lean on your for support, and that you’re going to stay by their side as you find a solution to end this vicious cycle together.
Instill strength of character.
Being bullied is not a result of a certain character flaw. Make your child understand that it is not their fault that they are being picked on, and that it is not okay for them to allow people to disrespect them no matter the circumstance.
Praise them for being open.
It’s not easy to come forward and narrate a bullying story. Acknowledge their bravery and end the conversation with a warm embrace that conveys comforting love and care.