Bullying is a world wide epidemic. If you’re a parent then you or your child have been affected by some form of bullying. From toddlers to teens bullying is a social proclivity. There are four types of bullying which include social, verbal, physical, and cyber. As a parent you need to know which type affects your child and what you can do to stop it.
For a toddler bullying begins at the social level. At an early age toddlers can become social outcasts. When your child socializes in a play group pay attention to his or her surroundings. Toddlers learn social skills from their peers and parents. Watch how the other children are treating your child. If other children won’t play with your child ask questions and find out why. Be diligent in your child’s social life. There are steps you can take to bully proof your toddler. Be aware of who your toddler plays with. If you know your child’s friends, then you can keep a watchful eye on their behavior. Be prepared to get involved and stop any pre-bullying activity. It only takes one bully in the bunch to affect your toddler for life.
For an elementary school age child bullying can become verbal. Between the ages of five and ten, kids have extensive vocabulary skills. They learn from an early age words hurt. From the innocent words “you have cooties” verbal bullying can escalate. Parent’s have to be aware of the warning signs. Children who are verbally bullied will be withdrawn or refuse to go to school. As a parent you have to be prepared to take action if your child is being verbally abused at school. Talk to your child. If your child is being verbally attacked go to the school and resolve the problem as soon as possible. You have to be proactive because hurtful and harmful words carry to adulthood.
Junior high thrust the eleven year old into an unknown world. They mingle with older kids who rule the school. Bullying takes on a new level. It can become physical. Between the age of 11 and 13 kids have a tendency to challenge their prowess. They want to be in control and will pick on the weak. Threatening behavior has become the norm at many junior high schools. From fist fights to knife fights kids as young as eleven are being assaulted. You must be aware if your child’s school has a history of violence. A school’s track record is an important factor in preventing physical bullying. If you are prepared with knowledge you know what your child is up against. You can then create preventative measures to insure the protection of your child.
Ten years ago parent’s didn’t have to worry about cyberbullying. But now that teenagers have access to cell phones and computers it’s a parent’s worse nightmare. Teenagers are secretive and have a tendency to hide their social life from their parents. You may not even know your teenager is being bullied until it’s too late. A teenager is not going to tell his or her parents they are being bullied. They think they are invincible and can handle the situation on their own. They can’t! If you suspect your teenager is a victim of cyberbullying then your need to take immediate action. Be aware of what your teen is doing at all times when they are on the internet. Set up some kind of monitoring system. Your teen will resist, but you have to insist or take away their access. Be prepared for resistance. When you’re dealing with teens remember they think they’re grown. As a parent you still have control. It’s your job to prevent your teen from being the victim of cyberbullying.
Remember not all children are targets of bullying. Your child may be a bully. If your child is a bully, you still need to bully proof your kid. As a parent it’s your responsibility to make sure you don’t raise a bully. Most children are not intentional bullies. He or she may have not been taught right from wrong or they don’t know social boundaries. If your child is a bully be aware of what you are teaching them. You also need to be prepared to stop bullying before it starts. Be proactive in your child’s life. Bully proof your kid.