Boy wanted to ‘hurt’ himself; distressed parents blame bullying
Bullying can have a scary impact on your child. Here's how you can equip yourself and your child to deal with this ever-increasing menace!
Bullying is something that can scar the one at the receiving end, for life. It need not necessarily be a physical form of one-upmanship. Even something seemingly harmless like making fun of someone or name-calling can leave an indelible impact on the person.
So when Tom and Dru Ahlborg of Denver heard that their son wanted to hurt himself because of being bullied in school, they decided to act. The couple’s 13-year-old son was being harassed in the school and it was affecting the boy emotionally. According to reports, the schools apathy towards this made the parents file a lawsuit against the educational institution. As told to 9Wants To know, the parents wanted to throw light on how schools deal with bullying. “We don’t want this to happen to the next child, Dru said. “I feel helpless. You just want to hug him, especially when he starts talking about hurting himself. I don’t want to lose my son,” added the mother.
Another high schooler Aaria Nitin, recounts with horror, the instance of bullying she experienced when she got admission at a reputed school closer home. “On day one of school when I was asked to carry two of my classmates’ bags, I thought it was a stray case of ragging and would end there. But then it continued for five consecutive school days and on day six, I didn’t want to go to school,” confessed the 15-year-old. Luckily for Aaria, her parents intervened and school authorities took necessary action and today the school has strict anti-bullying rules.
However, some succumb to this growing bane of bullying and withdraw into a shell, affecting their self-confidence.
For tips to bully-proof your child, continue reading.
According to reports, the National Centre of Educational Statistics say that almost one out of four students complain about being bullied at school. So if it’s something this rampant, it becomes a necessity to build the child’s resilience against bullying. Here are some tips to make your child bully-proof:
Make them aware: Explain the concept of bullying. Help them know when they are being bullied and when it is just in jest. The moment it affects them, either emotionally or physically, they must raise an alarm and inform the parents, siblings or the school authorities.
Raise confident and happy children: A self-confident child is half-ready to deal with bullies. If you are busy teaching him the right way to brush his teeth or walk, you may be missing out on vital time to instil a sense of self in him. He may grow up thinking he needs to be corrected all the time, and thereby assume being bullied is just a part of it. Teach him manners, but also tell him that he is perfect the way he is.
Inculcate problem-solving skills: Instead of coming to his rescue for the smallest of concerns, help him find a solution. As long as you let him know that you have his back, he will do fine. Raise self-reliant children who can identify solutions to their issues.
Face it, don’t flee from it: If the solution to your child’s problem is fleeing from it, then that in itself is a problem that needs to be addressed. This may make him believe that it’s okay to not reveal about the bullying or the ragging that ensues in class and before you know it, it’s too late to make amends.
Hear him out: Pay attention to your child’s so-called banter. It could be during one of those silly banters that he talks about being bullied at the play ground. Never miss out on cues that are part of his regular updates. If he doesn't believe in talking, ask leading questions. "How was your day at school?" or "Which part of the day do you like the most?" to begin with, will help.
It may not always happen that your child walks up to you and talks about being bullied. As a parent, look out for signs that hint that perhaps all is not well with your kid.
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