Bullying with your child can take place in the school, in the park, or on the school bus. Harsh comments, gestures, making fun of physical attributes or shy nature are not a very uncommon norm. This really shatters the confidence and self-esteem of a child, which parents can build up with their support.

Look for signs

Disinterest in school, sudden changes in temperament (too quiet or too aggressive), stress without any apparent reason, avoiding people – these are all possible symptoms of being bullied.

Form an action plan

After you have identified the source, take your children in confidence and ask them what can help them. You may talk to the teacher; seek support from the authorities or whichever way your child feels comfortable.

Be sensitive

Your children may be so ashamed after being bullied that they may act very unconfident. Don’t lose patience and criticize them for behaving that way. Children who are bullied blame themselves for whatever has happened and they need your support and not your criticism at this point.

Help them make friends

Good friends are a great source of confidence and support. Help your child in developing healthy friendships. You may organize get together, family day, etc.

Help them develop strong muscles of mind

Let your children express how hurt they feel. Assure them how everybody faces these things one way or the other and how they should believe in themselves and move on. This would relieve them of a lot of stress. Reinforce in your child how special they are. Count with them their qualities and create opportunities for them to exhibit them. This love and encouragement will not only heal their bruised self-esteem, but also give them the confidence to face such situations with greater strength.

This article appeared in Hindustan Times

Sudha Gupta

Mrs. Sudha Gupta, Chairperson of Mother's Pride Pre-School and Presidium Senior Secondary School, is a sought-after expert on parenting.

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