As a parent, it is our responsibility to let kids know that making fun of anyone or teasing them is not an acceptable behavior. We should try to bring the best behavior of our kid, and make them responsible citizen of our society.
Still many kids might face teasing in day to day life. Some kids might have physical deformity, which might make them a soft target by other kids. Children will need your support to deal with this situation.
Encourage your children to discuss with you if someone teases them. Discuss with their teachers. Kids should know that you are around and you care for them and understand their feelings.
Discuss with them various ways they can handle the situation (It will depend on the age of child):
- Try not to react or being visibly upset (if you are calm it puts off the teaser but if you are visible upset , it will encourage the teaser to do it again).
- Use a confident voice to tell the child who is making fun to stop.
- Ignore or calmly walk away from the teasing.
- Walk away and find a friend to be near.
- Tell a teacher or another adult.
Discuss with kids; which of the above may be the best option. (in a particular situation).
Tell them do not retaliate or fight back, it might worsen the situation.
Many schools now have programs to deal with teasing and bullying and promote positive relationships between kids. They have child counselor who might help in dealing with situations. If teasing tends to occur in specific settings (like at the bus stop or during recess), work with school personnel to make sure that an adult in charge responds to the situation when it happens.
If teasing becomes an ongoing issue or if you notice sudden changes that concern you (like your son doesn’t want to go to school, seems sad, or seems to have a hard time separating from you or family members), talk with a counselor or mental health professional for additional support.
Feel free to discuss, otherwise it might have adverse effect on the long term psychology of child.
Dr Rahul Varma
Bullying is so commonly seen among children these days. We need to take a strong stand against bullying. It can ruin someone’s entire life; it can damage self esteem of a child.
Good thing is that people in the community have started recognizing it and lots of efforts are being made at different levels to prevent bullying.
Few basic strategies which can help in preventing Bullying of your child are:
- Discuss and talk about it: Discuss with your children and family about this topic of bullying. Share your experience, may be your child will open up easily after it. Praise your kids, if he/ she open up and provide unconditional love and support to them.
- Consult with School Staff: Discuss with teachers and counselors at school regarding their policies on bullying and how do they tackle it, if a case arises.
- Remove the bait: If bullying is occurring due to a money which child carry for lunch or any fancy gadget which your child is carrying; then stop it. Remove anything which your kids think is the root cause of bullying. Never shy away from discussing with school teacher.
- Have a Buddy for your child: Having a safety buddy with whom your kid feel safe will be a good option. Tell your child to have a buddy with them; whenever they think the bully may strike like in school bus, washrooms, empty corridors etc.
- Try to Ignore and keep calm: Bully feel satisfied if they see you getting frustrated and irritated; it gives them a high. If you do not react to bullies, it takes away the basic pleasure for which bully is doing it. SO your child’s best chance is to ask the bully to stop it and walk away from there. And if needed report to appropriate person/authority soon after.
- Do not try to battle it out on your own: Many a times you might need to involve the parents of the bully. But do it in presence a counselor who can mediate.
- Be confident; bullies don’t like people who are not afraid.
Discussion and supporting your child through this tough phase is the key. Spending quality time with your child will help them to open up with you.
Feel free to talk to your pediatrician or child psychologist regarding this issue.
Dr Rahul Varma