Bullying attacks us in places where we should feel safest. How to detect if our children are or have been victims of this type of abuse. Tips to face the situation and help overcome it.
Gabriel is the typical kid they seek to bully him at school: smart, wears glasses, and lives in his own world. The bullying , remember, is bullying, and any kind of abuse, physical, verbal or psychological, among schoolchildren. Gabriel just turned eight years old, he has just passed to the third year of basic education and we changed him urgently to another school, because he acted strange, silent, “he did not remember” what he had done during the day. Every day he tried to stay home, excusing himself that he was sleepy, had a stomach ache, or tried to go to work with me.
The day came when the doubt was too great. Something was happening and we couldn’t figure out what. With great care we managed to know the full story: there were three children who bullied him at school: one pinched his hand to make him cry in front of the entire class, and they made fun of him; another pushed and kicked him during training to get punished; and one more, the worst of all, had asked him to borrow a pencil and then bury it in the palm of his hand.
I cried with him, hugged him, kissed him and apologized for not paying more attention. I didn’t know what to do, how to deal with the situation, how to help my son move on. The bullying is a repeated and methodical abuse, which often witnesses peers and sometimes accomplices. It emotionally affects both bullied boys and girls, as well as their family and circle of friends. If you have doubts and don’t know if your child is or has been a victim of this type of abuse, read these notes:
Fear and paranoia. He sees evil everywhere, he feels that everyone wants to harm him, harm him. Your friends, family, and even your parents become potential bullies. You start to feel afraid of everyday situations, such as caresses, games or just giving an opinion.
Silence. Many times these situations return our children to true graves of silence. They are not able to express what they are experiencing, what they are feeling, and because of them it is much more difficult for us to realize what is happening. The shame in front of the situation, along with the guilt of feeling responsible, makes them hide and deny the abuse.
Behavioral changes. It is noticeable when they begin to misbehave, hit, answer badly, or stop eating. Most often, we relate it to your mood, to a particular situation. Being a victim of bullying these changes occur with greater frequency and intensity.
Physical discomfort. Severe headaches, upset stomach, vomiting, poor appetite, and muscle pain are some physical symptoms that are linked to psychological violence. Stomach upset, vomiting and lack of appetite are related to the nervous system, with the stress generated by being involved in constant violence. Headache and muscle pain are often caused by poor sleep, because the subconscious is always in a state of alert.
When detecting abuse, we must see how to deal with it, how to explain to our children that it is not their fault, that they should not be ashamed of what happened and how to prevent it from happening again. It is important to go directly to the school to discuss the situation with the person in charge or the teacher, request a dialogue with the parents of the minors involved, in addition to requesting the corresponding sanction.
The family is essential in these cases to provide support and love to those who are victims of bullying , they must feel loved, since most of the damage has gone to their self-esteem. Teaching them to love each other and allowing them to express their feelings is part of the road to recovery. Do not let shame take hold of him, do not let him feel that it was his fault.
In addition to strengthening his self-esteem, we must teach him to defend himself in the event of a future attack. Self defense and martial arts contribute to developing the ability to react, along with the discipline that is fostered in these types of sports. In our case, Gabriel has been practicing tae kwon do for a couple of months and has overcome his fear of contact with other children, especially if they are older.