Bullying is a nearly invisible epidemic. Children suffer, often in silence, as bullies verbally, physically and socially attack characteristics that are usually out of their control, such as race, appearance, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.
As a parent or guardian, it is your responsibility to watch for signs of bullying, especially since your child might feel too embarrassed or ashamed to discuss the situation with you.
- Watch for emotional symptoms, such as bouts of sadness or battles with depression.
- Be on the lookout for changes in behavior, such as withdrawal from friends or reluctance to attend school.
- Pay attention to physical indications, such as unexplained bruises or scratches, or changes in weight because of stress.
Show confidence and kindness to classmates. Bullies are masterminds at spotting shy, lonely, vulnerable children, so make sure your child always appears strong, confident, and friendly. Body language speaks volumes, so teach your child to walk with his or her eyes forward, not looking at the floor. Encourage your child to smile and greet everyone. This kindness can help your child become friends with classmates and encourage his or her classmates to support and advocate for him or her.
Practice non-antagonistic comebacks. Bullies like to test the waters with their potential targets before investing a lot of energy in the victim. They often begin with an intimidating insult. Teach your child not to take the bait or feel afraid. It’s important to not say anything antagonistic that might give the bully a reason to persevere. A simple, non-threatening response, such as “I gotta get to class,” might be sufficient.
Learn the red flags of bullying and ways to help your bullied child in the accompanying resource.
This infographic was created by Kids Car Donations, donate your car for kids.
Kids Car Donations is a national organization that accepts vehicle donations to better the lives of children. The organization partners with a number of well-known nonprofits serving children and teens who are confronted with physical, mental and emotional challenges to provide the care they need.
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