Bullying hurts bodies.
Bullying hurts bodies and minds.
Bullying hurts bodies, minds and communities.
What is bullying?
Bullying is more than being excluded from a game or being called a name. It is the repetitive, persistent and hurtful dominance and intimidation of another person.
Here are some key signs that your child might be being bullied:
- Unexplained injuries: physical bullying can happen! Lots of children who are physically hurt might try and hide the injuries or explain them away due to fear or feeling ashamed.
- Seeming down and withdrawn: persistent negative comments and hurtful actions impacts a young persons’ self worth.
- Bringing food home: sometimes, young people are teased so much that they stop doing anything that might be a ‘target’ for bullying, such as eating in front of others.
- Finding reasons not to go to school: your child might make an excuse such as; ‘I don’t need to be there today, it’s just revision’ or ‘I feel sick (again)’. Of course, this might be the truth, but there could also be a bigger issue.
- Missing personal items: bullying can be a combination of aggressive behaviour including threatening and stealing.
- Avoidance: perhaps your child is asking to be picked up from school, or dropped to school only minutes before the bell!
- Increased hypervigilance: bullying increases the stress responses (aka the fight or flight response). Often, young people who are bullied are more ‘on edge’ than their peers. This is due to a process of conditioning, whereby the young person learns to be on the look out, constantly.
What should I do if my child is being bullied?
If you are worried or concerned about your child, here are a few tips that might help:
- Talk about bullying: simply talking about the problem, and communicating to children that you’ve noticed a change, can be a huge stress reliever for someone who’s being bullied. Be supportive and listen to your child’s feelings without judgment, criticism, or blame.
- Remove the bait: if your child is targeted by a bully for his or her lunch money, phone, or iPod – for example – suggest your child packs a lunch for school and leaves the gadgets at home.
- Find help for them: make sure teachers and other adults know the child is being bullied. No child should have to handle bullying alone.
- Help them avoid isolation: kids with friends are better equipped to handle bullying. Find ways to increase their social circle, via youth or religious groups or clubs, for example.
- Help them to reframe the problem; try to view bullying from a different perspective: the bully is an unhappy, frustrated person who wants to have control over your feelings so that you feel as badly as they do. Don’t give them the satisfaction.
- Ensure kids know that bullying is not their fault: no matter what someone says or does, the bully is responsible for his or her actions, not the victim.
Where can I get help for bullying?
If you are concerned about your young person seek some support. You can call/email one of our friendly staff at The Psych Professionals and they will be happy to answer any questions you might have and provide you with some information:
Loganholme Practice: P: (07) 3801 1772 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Capalaba Practice: P: (07) 3823 2230 | E: email@example.com
Or, complete our Online Enquiry Form and someone will call you at a time convenient to you.