As a parent it is your responsibility to raise a socially intelligent and adaptive kid who can get along well with their peers. This is extremely important, especially in their formative schooling years as this is your little one’s first taste of society. This is where they learn to make friends, form lasting relationships and connections that will come in handy later on in life. This is also where they learn how to gain the respect of their peers. However, this is the period when your children learn to face conflict, rejection and backlash. Programs regulating conflicts in schools can give parents some peace of mind since they’re effective at minimizing them. But, these measures can only go so far. However, fortunately there are things parents can do to prevent their children from getting picked on at school. Here are a few things you can do so that your child feels protected and confident at all times during their school years.
Here Are A Few Signs That Your Child Has Problems With Their Classmates
1. Lost Or Damaged Belongings
One way to recognise that your child is being picked on is if they frequently “lose” their things even though they are not a careless kid or if their things come back damaged. Many surveys show that about 29% of those who are oppressed by their peers are hurt physically and this includes roughhousing their things (1). So, be on the lookout for your child’s things. Check to see if their belongings are missing or have been damaged in any way. Especially when it comes to books, clothing and gadgets. It could be a sign of other kids taking their things from them or hurting them in the process.
2. A Sudden Decrease In Self-Esteem
Parents can sometimes sense when something is wrong with their child. But oftentimes, if you look close enough you’ll realize that your child was showing you these red flag clues all along. If your usually upbeat and self assured child suddenly doesn’t seem so sure of themselves anymore, it’s time to pay closer attention to them. Physical and emotional trauma causes kids to start questioning their self-worth. They can feel like they are on the receiving end of these negative comments and actions for almost no reason at all. As a result of this their self esteem may start to drop. You may notice behavioral changes like them keeping their head down or speaking in a very soft voice. They may even start to avoid you and may not talk unless they are addressed directly in order to not draw attention to their situation.
3. Avoids Friends And Social Interactions
If the mistreatment continues, your child may start to close themselves off from every kind of social interaction. For example, you may notice that your child has started to opt to stay at home alone instead of going out with their friends. At first, parents are overjoyed as they think this is a sign of growth and maturity but it could also be a sign of fear. They could become a homebody just to avoid problematic classmates. Because dropping out of school isn’t an available option for most kids, they start to spend a lot of time at home when they are not required to interact with the school crowd. However, this is not healthy for your child. They should be going out with friends and experiencing life. Not sitting at home with you on a Friday night because they are too scared to contemplate who they might run into.
4. An Abrupt Change In Attitude Towards Parents
Does your sweet and charming child suddenly seem like a defensive ball of anger to you? Well something is definitely going on. When belittled by their peers, kids can start to exhibit changes in how they handle their feelings. They have no outlet to vent out their anger and frustration and often a parent becomes their emotional punching ball. This could be an attempt to feel like they’re in control.
Ways To Prevent These Problems From Happening
- Explain the situation to your children thoroughly in a way in which they will understand. Sometimes, kids don’t know why they are or that they are being mistreated. Pointing this out will help them stand up for themselves the next time around.
- Make sure you’re constantly communicating with your child. This will let you know if there’s any cause for concern. Your kids need to be comfortable with you in order to reveal what is truly happening in their lives.
- Boost your child’s confidence by pushing them to discover and pursue new talents and hobbies.
Seeing your child have a hard time at school is never easy for a parent, but there are things that you can do in order to ensure that your child is alright no matter what. Now that you know how to recognise that your child needs your help, they are going to be okay. Happy parenting!