This is an important and much needed topic today. The suicide rate and rate of children being bullied is alarming. Communication is always a great way to investigate further. The unfortunate part about these topics is that sometimes if the victim doesn’t want to receive help, then they will try any in every way to cover up and hide what is going on with them. And unfortunately, they are good at covering up. If we pay close attention to our children, communicate with them often and engage them in specific activities, we will have a much higher chance at getting them to open up and even the help that they need.
It is human nature to want to help others. Sometimes we care more about others than we care about helping ourselves. This is important to know because it can be used to our advantage when providing assistance and support toward strengthening our children. Allow children to be in positions where they can be of service. We all want to be appreciated and valued. It feels good to know that you are valued. The best way to help “us” is to help others. If you are in need of certain things, believe that others are as well in need!
Bullying is when a person is hurt physically or mentally by continuous and unwanted actions. These actions may be taunting, physical aggression, theft of interfering with one’s personal property, cyber harassment and simply a constant action that brings about any level of social exclusion or discomfort. Being bullied is painful mentally and physically. The lack of power that the victim feels and has to experience is and can be detrimental. Bullies find many ways in which they will chose to antagonize their victims.
Taunting- Also known as teasing is when a person is harassed by constant chanting, name calling in a repetitive negative tone and verbal abuse.
Physical Abuse- Repetitive hitting and physical aggression. There is not one thing that is acceptable about physical abuse. Unfortunately, there are people who believe that physical abuse is ok. For the aggressor, physical abuse sends several warning messages related to some violations on the victim’s actions. For the victim, physical abuse is received as deserving of the violation. There are many perceptions of why it happened. Victims sometimes feel trapped because of the lack of resources, or they have reached out and was ignored.
Harassment- Repetition of negative aggression and behavior constitutes as harassment. It is an unwanted and unwarranted action of any kind, constantly stealing the belongings of another individual
Social exclusion is another aspect of bullying. We all want to be accepted on some level of existence. Social exclusion is when the victim is constantly left out of conversations, activities and other social components.
How can you help?
Communication often with your children by having daily chats. When children feel as though they can talk to you, they will confide and share even more you. Create meaningful conversations that would allow your child to open p. Tell them how your day was. Share with them how you handle adversities and challenges in your life. Working on your reactions and limit the wow factors.
Check social media - Check for unusual activities. Check friend list, inbox and direct messaging, etc.… educate children about cyber predators/stalkers. Parents should cyber stalk if you must. When our children get to a certain age, they become more independent and feel as though they deserve more privacy. As parents we can respect their wishes to a certain degree. Children will understand basic house rules that in order to parent properly that there is a level of monitoring that must take place. If house rules and trust are in anyway violated the level of monitoring is elevated hence privacy is minimal.
Observe your children pay close attention to changes in behavior. Behavior may be extreme rather negatively or positively. Examples of negative behavior may be depressed, angry, pessimistic, and hateful toward others. Negative behaviors may be so extreme that the individual would harm them and/or others.
Seek Professional Help- Allow them to meet with a relatable counselor and/ therapist therapy is not a bad idea. Some opinions about receiving therapy has been related on untruths depending on who you talk took to.
Communicate with School Officials- The School’s PTA (Parent Teacher Association), or a parent liaison is a great source of information. Your presence and involvement in the schools would allow you to put closer eyes on the situation. It at least provides the opportunity to investigate further. Possible connections are made with other parents to collaborate and to create the concept of the Village. The Village is an old African American Proverb that it takes a village to raise a child. As parents we sometimes find ourselves being there for those who cannot/ will not speak for themselves.
If you ever feel that someone is in danger of harming themselves or if you want to harm yourself, please call 911 and treat as an emergency. Lives are so important and to lose any life is never ok.
There are several suicide hotlines that are available for assistance.