"Bullying is a horrible thing. It sticks with you forever. It poisons you. But only if you let it." -Heather Brewer

Growing up is not easy. The transition periods from child to teenager and then teenager to young adult are filled with difficulties and awkward situations. And, to make the process of growing older even more complex, there is something known as bullying that many kids, pre-teens, and adolescents go through daily.

What is bullying? In the simplest of terms, bullying can be described as the act of intimidating, bothering, and coercing a person that is considered weaker. Victims of bullying are many, with most teens around the UK claiming that they have been bullied at least once in their life.

Nonetheless, though bullying and harmful intimidation have become commonplace, that doesn't make it a good thing. Instead, awareness needs to be raised so that bullying is prevented and drastically reduced. One of the best ways to deal with bullying in public and private schools around Europe is by having the parents involved. How's that?

If parents know how to spot and help their children deal with bullies, pupils will be better equipped to stand up for themselves. So, without further ado, today's article will serve as a guide to offer parents practical steps to handle bullies in the most effective manner.

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Identifying Distinct Types of Bullies

bullying is tough
Bullying can result in name-calling and intense fighting that leaves someone feeling sad and hopeless. (Source: Unsplash)

Other than the common forms of bullying that parents and children should be aware of, such as physical, verbal, emotional, cyber, sexual, and prejudicial bullying, it's worth stating that there are types of bullies. Unfortunately, the types of bullies commonly seen in the school environment have severe textbook problems. However, by knowing the kind of bullies that are prevalent, parents can provide their children with advice on how to stand up to that sort of bully that is persistently harassing them.

Without further delay, the following are the sorts of bullies that cause harm to countless students in schools around the world:

  • Bully-Victims: to re-establish a sense of control in their lives, bully-victims make fun of others because, in reality, they have been bullied and hurt by others who are more robust than they are. As a result, Bully-victims will find weaker ones to treat poorly and still be bullied at the same time. A vicious circle indeed!
  • Popular Bullies: the popular boys and girls who think that they rule the school are known as "popular bullies", and their tactics may range from physical harm to psychological damage. Popular bullies will do everything they can to remain at the top of the food chain.
  • Relational Bullies: those who like to exclude and isolate people from a specific friend group are most often referred to as relational bullies. They may use verbal and emotional bullying to make sure that their victims feel worthless.
  • Serial Bullies: often seen as one of the worst types of bullies, serial bullies are charming when in front of authority figures, yet they are cold and devious when dealing with their victims. Serial bullies are skilled manipulators and tend to bully a person for many months or years.
  • Group Bullies: those who bully others as a group have a pack mentality and prefer to harm others when they are together. Group bullies tend to act ultimately differently when alone since they feel powerless without their "friends."
  • Indifferent Bullies: probably the least common but likely the most dangerous, indifferent bullies are often unable to feel empathy, and they torment others for the sheer thrill of it. Indifferent bullies have very little remorse for seeing others suffer.

Take a look at the brilliant article from VeryWell Family to learn more about the patterns of these infamous types of bullies.

What are some of the adverse outcomes of being bullied at school? Read the following subheading to learn more.

Consequences of Bullying that Parents Should Know

hurting yourself a lot
Self-harm tends to be one of the most severe consequences of bullying. It's seen by many psychologists as a cry for help. (Source: Unsplash)

For parents to become more involved in the lives of their bullied son or daughter, it's essential to highlight the significant consequences that bullying can have on an influenceable child or teenager. The more mothers and fathers know about what could happen to their child if a bullying situation isn't addressed, the quicker they will be to get to the bottom of the issue and make changes.

So, without further ado, the following are some of the most saddening repercussions of bullying in teens and children:

  • Loss of appetite, 
  • Trouble sleeping,
  • Depression,
  • Anxiety, 
  • Low self-esteem, 
  • Fear of making new friends,
  • Lack of desire to do anything fun, 
  • Suicidal thoughts, 
  • Self-harm, 
  • Attempted suicide. 

Honestly, the tragic consequences of bullying are complicated and challenging for most parents to bear. Nonetheless, if prepared to handle bullying when it arises, parents are setting their children up for success by avoiding severe issues that go along with them into adult life.

Practical Advice for Parents to Successfully Deal with Bullying

online attacks
Cyberbullying is a severe type of bullying that has become more common in recent years due to advancing technology. Parents should beware. (Source: Unsplash)

Mothers and fathers must keep their children safe, and they want them to enjoy the best life possible. Therefore, if you have the suspicion that your child or teen is being bullied or you want to let your kids know about the dangers of bullying before it happens, you have a solemn responsibility as a parent.

Don't be afraid to address the subject since there is more harm in not talking about and suffering the consequences than realising that you could've helped your teen or child by being more outspoken before things got out of control. But, how?

Since many parents have had to help their children stand up to bullies, there is plenty of helpful advice on the internet. Let's look at some practical steps that parents should follow if they find out that their child is being bullied at school.

Be Observant

It's important to state that on many occasions, children and teens are embarrassed to tell their parents that they are being bullied at school. Therefore, mothers and fathers should be observant and look for any changes in the attitude of their son or daughter. Such as? Change in appetite, a withdrawn attitude, a fear to spend time with friends, and a lack of desire to go to school, are all side effects of being bullied.

Be Supportive

At first, you may view it as a personal failure that your child is being bullied by others at school, and you may not feel comfortable talking about the subject with them. However, it would help if you remembered, it's not about your comfort but, instead, the comfort of your kid.

Be supportive by drawing your child out with questions and listening to what they have to say. It may take a while to get to the bottom of the story and find out essential details such as when it started, who it is, and what it is about.

By being patient and supportive, your child will feel at ease talking to you about the situation in the future.

Refrain From Retaliating

As a parent, the first thing you might want to do is talk to the bully and their parents to give them a piece of your mind. However, hate is never the answer in return, and parents must remember to respect their child's privacy.

Although you'll immediately want to stop the hurt, it's better to problem-solve with your child and see if a solution can be worked out to make things better.

Provide Helpful Advice

Instead of getting angry and feeling significantly hurt and helpless, parents should conserve their energies and seek helpful advice. Then, after finding practical tips and suggestions to stand up to a bully, mothers and fathers should be quick to share the information with their children.

Offering practical suggestions lets your child or teen know that you care very deeply about what is going on and that you will do everything in your power to help stop the bullying.

Parents should remember that after offering suggestions, they should let their children deal with the situation since they will feel proud of themselves for having solved the issue independently.

Work with Others

As a caregiver, hearing that the person you care the most about in the entire universe is being hurt by others is a heartbreaking experience. Therefore, to overcome the issue and continue to be beneficial to your teen, parents should have a support system such as friends and other family members.

Also, to ensure that the bullying stops, enlist the help of supervisors and teachers at your child's school so that they can keep watch and let you know about any developments.

Build Up Your Child's Self-Esteem

The bullying that your son or daughter is experiencing is a blow to their self-esteem, and they may feel worthless and unloved. Therefore, parents need to try their best to build their children's self-esteem by remembering things they are good at.

Choose activities that they excel at and reinforce that they are doing a fantastic job verbally. In addition, by taking part in group activities, they can make close friends and feel good about themselves again.

In conclusion, if parents heed the helpful advice in today's article, they will successfully handle the situation of their child being bullied and will assist them every step of the way.

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Brentyn

Avid movie-goer, reader, skier and language learner. Passionate about life, food and travelling.