School bullies are good. Good at what they do that is. I was bullied myself in primary school so I know. In many ways they are similar to a predator animal on a safari. They chose the most vulnerable from a group, they bide their time until the right opportunity presents itself and then using their deadliest trait – their ability not to be seen or caught – they attack.
Bullies have existed since Eve made Adam eat the apple. Invariably, they get discovered eventually.
A common reason that a kid is a bully is because he/she lacks attention from a parent at home and lashes out at others for attention. Very often their parents are bullies, are angry, or don’t handle conflict well. Kids usually bully because they learn this behaviour at home. The good news is that it is learned behaviour which can be unlearned.
Signs Your Child is Being Bullied
- Unwillingness to go to school: Most children enjoy going to school from a social perspective. If your child suddenly uses frequent headaches or stomach pains as a way of avoiding school there may be an issue with bullying.
- Change in your child’s demeanour: In addition to physical symptoms, it is important to note any changes in your child’s demeanour. Children who usually skip in from school full of chat but are now withdrawn may be the victims of bullying.
- Change in sleep pattern: Refusing to go to bed, difficulty going to sleep, waking several times during the night, bed wetting or difficulty getting up in the morning may suggest your child is preoccupied with a bully.
- Change in grades: If your child is usually a good student but there is a sudden dip in grades he may be focused on a different problem.
- Change in friends: While it is normal enough for children to change friends in school, a red flag is when your child comes home and says he has no friends. Bullies like to separate their victims from the group – just as the lion separates the gisselle.
TOP TIP: Communication is the key to resolving bullying issues. Communicate with your child and let them know you are always available when there is a problem of any kind. Communicate with your child’s teacher. While they cannot be expected to be aware of everything which happens your child they should be one of your first port of calls. In some cases, the teacher spends more time with the child throughout the week than the parent actually does.