As children, we have not one single judgemental bone in our body.
We literally take everybody and everything at face value.
We don’t care if its green, yellow, pink, blue, fat, thin, big or small.
We don’t ask questions, we don’t pick faults and we don’t discriminate.
But as we grow and lose the magic that is childhood, piece by piece, opinions start to form.
Children begin to judge the world, and the people in it partly based on strong influences around them such as thier school friends and the media.
Of course everyone just wants to “fit in” and have friendships, and while growing up, this can result in us taking on other people’s opinions rather than our own.
Children can be so intent on fitting in with their friends, they too may become judgemental as a result which is where the first stages of becoming a bully can start.
I tell you this as I have witnessed first hand how lovely, kindhearted children can turn into bullies before our eyes.
I know this because I was the one of the unlucky children that became bullied.
Of course, this was years ago.
But I can tell you having been through a terrible ordeal myself, no matter how old you grow, the many feelings endured for so long never really leave you.
So, I want to highlight bullying as a major issue that affects around one in four children at some point in their school life.
We must try to stop this at source.
So I want to share with you two perpectives to help ensure your child stays safe and knows when to ask for help.
Ensure Your Child Knows Bullying is WRONG
Now, I know none of us ever want to belive our beautiful babies will become bullies, but unfortunately for so many factors it can and it does happen.
Heres my tips to help your child understand bullying is wrong –
- Teach them empathy. This is probably the most important piece of advise I can give to you on this subject. Instill in your little one that everybody has feelings. If they notice their friends feelings are hurt, ask them why they are upset so they can understand why and will know not to do it again. Empathy is an amazing attribute to have and cannot be valued enough, it is a life skill.
- Teach them not to follow the croud. Its great to fit in, but if they don’t agree with something its important they speak their mind. Of course, this takes confidence and for smaller children they could talk to you or their teacher if they are worried about a particular person behaving unacceptably. Teach them it is courageous to speak out but to always speak with an adult first to seek advice.
- Ask someone sitting/playing by themselves to play. Even from a young age, encouraging your child to ask another child who is playing alone to join their group can be a great confidence booseter. It is imperitive they know that including people is a kind thing to do and remind them they would like someone to ask them if they were alone
- Last, but not least. Teach your little one that everybody is different, but everbody is equal. It does not matter what you look like and what you wear. It is all about what is in your heart and what is in your mind.
- Loss of appetite – this may be due to worry or upset.
- Your little one does not want to engage in conversation about school in general
- They become more quiet than usual
- They begin to ask you if they can stay at home instead of school “sick” when they are otherwise well.