We hope our children aren’t being bullied while they’re at school — or, thanks to technology, at home! –, but sometimes when children don’t ask for help, we’re left to our own devices to navigate these issues. How can you tell if your child is being bullied if they aren’t open to talking about it?
While there are many different warning signs, we’ve tried to boil it down to five red flags to look for.
- Coming home with damaged or lost items such as toys, clothes, etc.
- New changes in health or eating habits (ex: Frequent headaches/stomach aches, not eating lunch, coming home from school hungry)
- Social changes (ex: Picking on younger siblings, avoiding social situations, becoming more reserved)
- Self-Destructive Behaviors (ex: Running away from home, destroying personal items)
- Difficulty explaining recurring injuries.
Every child is different, but these signs can be a cause for further investigation. Sometimes it’s hard to describe being bullied, especially if your child is feeling ashamed or sad. But the signs can help parents cue into what’s going on outside of the home so steps can be taken.
As parents, it’s our job to show our children that we’re here and we’re listening. Acknowledge their feelings, put down the technology, and ask appropriate questions (“How did that make you feel?”) to help get to the core of the issue. And as they open up or give more information, make sure to understand that you’re here to recognize and perhaps not necessarily fix the issues.
Letting your child work through their problems on their own allows your child to express themselves and review their thoughts. By jumping in with a quick solution, your child may feel their concern has been downplayed. Show your child you are listening, not fixing.
Of course, if the bullying is not on home turf and is becoming physical to the point where your child is in danger, bringing the issues to the school staff are important in ensuring the safety of your child.
How Martial Arts Helps
In Martial Arts, one of the biggest benefits to students is teaching self confidence. As students learn and grow in their training, the perseverance needed to overcome obstacles in techniques becomes embedded in how we approach new situations in life as well. We learn, we fail, we overcome…and the confidence gained in that success changes our views of new problems and lessons that may come our way.
When students are confident, they’re better able to pinpoint when something like an ongoing tease is becoming bullying; And the result can mean the difference in closing up or standing up.
The added bonus of learning physical self defense is also knowing that if words turn to action, our students can defend themselves. Teach your child the value of Martial Arts with us >> Click Here