Bullying has taken many forms over the years, but with the increased use of social media, bullying has become less visually apparent to adults. As technology evolves, bullying is more hidden in the digital world. Sadly, bullies target some populations more than others.
Do you know a student who is struggling with being bullied? Follow along for some helpful tidbits to learn more about the signs of bullying and how you can help.
What type of victims do bullies target?
Many parents wonder why a bully targeted their child. There are no clear-cut answers to this question. Bullies tend to target everything from personality differences to being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Specific characteristics might increase a child’s chances of getting bullied. Many victims of bullying seek to change their attributes to avoid bullying. However, bullying is about the wrong choice the bully makes, not some perceived defect in their victim.
Types of kids most likely to be bullied include:
- Successful students (i.e., those who excel in academics, sports, music, etc.)
- Intelligent, determined, or creative students
- Vulnerable children (such as those suffering from depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, etc.)
- Children with learning or physical disabilities
- Children with diverse religious or cultural beliefs
While the above-mentioned characteristics may cause a bully to focus on a target, it’s important to mention anyone can become a target of bullying, including popular, strong, and athletic kids.
Is your child being bullied?
In the best-case scenario, your child will have an open and willing conversation with you about their bully, or maybe a teacher will have a private conversation with you about observations from the classroom. Unfortunately, most children will feel too embarrassed to talk, or in some cases, may not even understand they are the target of a bully.
If your child is unwilling to discuss their experience openly, there are some common signs of bullying to keep an eye out for. Victims of bullying may:
- Create excuses to avoid school
- Have difficulty sleeping at night
- Experience an adverse change in academic performance
- Experience increased anxiety or depression
- Have frequent unexplained injuries
- Experience a sudden loss of personal belongings
- Not want to spend time alone
- Become withdrawn or show a loss of interest in things that once brought them joy
- Avoid events or experiences that they typically enjoy
If you notice any of these signs of bullying, don’t be afraid to talk with your child and/or their teachers to learn more about what they are going through.
How can you help?
It’s important to talk with your children and know about their life. Initiating a conversation with your child is key to understanding what’s going on in their world. During these discussions, work hard to listen without interruptions, validate their concerns, and follow up with questions as needed. If your child is bullied, or knows someone who is, work together to create a suitable solution for both of you. For example, if they feel safe, you can help your child vocalize they do not like how they are being treated or how to ignore the behavior. If they do not feel safe, create a plan to move to a secure location, and inform the school, coaches, and teachers about bullying. Sometimes, the school may meet with the bully and their parents. As always, it’s essential for parents to monitor social interactions, especially on social media platforms where cyberbullying is more likely to occur.
Innovative ideas may also include teaching your child to be more assertive and enrolling them in cognitive brain training courses. Through brain training, children can work towards enhancing the skills that are causing them to fall behind at school. Based on an initial cognitive skills assessment, a team of professionals can help your child to target and train brain skills through researched-backed techniques.
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The Brain Workshop can work alongside you and your family to achieve success in a specific targeted area. We are caring professionals devoted to working one-on-one with individuals who struggle with learning or those who desire maximum learning skill enhancement. Let us help you and your struggling student to increase self-confidence, achieve academic goals, and increase your learning potential through our innovative brain workshop programs.
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