Written by: Yolandi Singleton
Before looking into how to prevent from getting bullied, I think we should look at why children bully other children. When we know the reasons for it, we can easier consider how to deal with it.
Children who bullies other children aim to gain as much control over others as they can, most probably due to them getting bullied or abused somewhere. When they then bully others, they feel that they can regain the power they lost. They also practiced bullying behaviour due to jealousy – they are often jealous of children who appear content and as if they have everything. Your child might grow up in a loving and stable home who always the supports and nurtures the child next to the sport field or choir events.
The child who bullies will see this as a lack in their own lives and unconsciously desire the life of your child. Some children bully others because they have been exposed to domestic violence or have been sexually abused and others will bully children as they have not been taught social skills by their caregivers and therefore do not know how to interact or express themselves appropriately towards others. Some children who bullies are dealing with the loss of a significant loved one and have never dealt with the trauma and then attempt to gain control over their lives by trying to control others.
Based on the reasons why some children bully others, the following pointers are suggested to prevent your child from getting bullied by others with such troubled circumstances:
- Work hard to boost your child’s self-esteem – many studies show that children with good self-esteem are less likely to get bullied
- Encourage your child to be friendly and open towards everybody, even towards the ones that are not so popular amongst others – children who bully others are less likely to pick targets who have many friends
- Build a good relationship with your child’s teacher or the head of department so that when your child gets bullied you are more assured that the teacher will act on it quickly
- Advise your child to not move away from the group or go to the bathroom or to excluded areas on their own – stay in the group
- When your child makes use of public transport advise them to sit as front as possible as children sitting alone at the back are often targeted
- If your child walks home after school, arrange that someone walks with them
- Do not give your child too much spending money for the tuck shop as the children who bullies easily targets children who look like they get everything
- Raise your child to be caring and to never appear or act judgemental towards others – racism or talking badly behind others backs are never a good idea – it should feel nice to be nice
- Teach your child to never encourage aggressive behaviour between peers
- Help your child to be able to regulate their emotions, especially when they become angry – children who bully others see “angry children” as a challenge
All the best.