Bullying is an issue that many children deal with—whether in school, within their circle of friends, or even in their own community. A study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2017 revealed that Singapore has the third highest rate of bullying cases around the world, with 15-year-olds facing more bullying as compared to their peers in other nations.
As parents, it’s normal to feel worried about your child being bullied. Make sure to check on him to know how he’s doing so you can take appropriate steps. Here are some things you can do if you find your child in this situation.
#1 Inform someone at school about the situation
No matter how much you want to help your child, monitoring what’s happening to him 24/7 is impossible especially if the bullying happens in school. Let his teacher and guidance counsellor know about the situation so they can help you monitor and take appropriate steps to remedy the situation. They will also be your allies in dealing with bullies, who are often students in the school as well.
#2 Teach your child how to respond to bullies
A child’s response to bullying can affect the subsequent attacks. If he seems to be an easy target for the bullies, chances are the attacks will keep on happening. Make it clear to your little one that he can ask for help when bullies attack him. He can bring you or his teacher to the picture so the bullies know that someone will come to deal with them.
#3 Encourage your child to make more friends
Having more peers will help your child deal with bullies. Teach him to be more friendly in school because the more allies he has, the more people will come to his defence whenever the attacks happen again. You can help expand your child’s social circle and even observe how he’s being treated by other kids by hosting get-togethers in your house.
#4 Talk to him about the changes in his behaviour
Children who are being bullied tend to exhibit changes in their behaviour. They may be less talkative and engaging. Some of them even decline their friend’s invitation to play. If you observe some of these in your child, talk to him and ask if there’s any reason he doesn’t want to play with his friends anymore. Let your child open up and make him feel that he can trust you.
#5 Develop your child’s self-confidence
According to Evolve MMA, one of Asia’s top martial arts school, one of the driving factors behind the rise of bullying is low self-esteem. A confident child knows how to stand up for himself and others. More often than not, victims of bullying are children who remain silent and let the bullies torment them. But if your child knows how to call out bullies on their action, he will be hard to crack.
Another way of developing your child’s self-confidence is if he knows he can defend himself. Martial arts, for instance allows children to discover who they are and what they’re capable of through the various drills and routines. Evolve MMA’s Children’s Programme combines physical education, self-defence techniques, and cardiovascular conditioning to improve a child’s coordination, motor skills, and agility. This way, confidence, mental strength, discipline, and focus are instilled in your child.
#6 Get him to learn and earn respect from others
Your child will be able to take a step back and look deep within himself if he’s given the opportunity to reflect. One of the key ways to build self-awareness is through martial arts. With self-improvement at the core of the discipline, it pushes your child to embrace his shortcomings and continue on working on himself. Martial arts also provides a venue for a child to learn how to respect superiors and his peers.
For example, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class always begins with a bow, or boxing bouts start off with two competitors touching gloves. Designed by a Harvard University graduate and conducted by World Champions, EVOLVE MMA’s Little Samurai Children’s Programme will help your child build life skills that he can take from the mat to the classroom or the playground.