It is difficult for parents to see their child being placed under undue stress or bullied by peers. To bring an end to these problems, parents need to put aside emotional responses and concentrate on calm, considered actions.
As certain amount of stress can be godlike coping with minor stressful situations will make a child better able to handle a more serious stressful situation. However, too much stress can have adverse effects on a child.
Research has shown that child under constant stress has more bouts of colds and digestive upsets and is more likely to be accident prone.
The child’s personality, age and previous experiences will all contribute to how she reacts to stress. What might be stressful for one child won’t be for another. Common situations that can cause stress is: starting or changing schools, preparing for school exams, not doing well at school, moving and making new friends, parents arguing and family fights, divorce and death of a family member or friend. Pressure from parents for the child to perform better than her ability whether in school, sports or playing an instrument — can also cause stress. Depending on the child, the signs of stress may include:
•Reverting to thumb sucking or bed-wetting.
•Irritability and moodiness.
•Becoming aggressive to you or siblings.
•Withdrawal from friends or siblings.
•Worsening performance in school.
•Lack of interest in hobbies or other previously enjoyed activities.
•Sleep disturbances and nightmares.
•Frequent complaints of physical problems such as stomachaches.
As a parent, there are ways that you can help your child. Listen to her and discuss how she feels. Let her know that you recognize that she has to cope withal stressful problem, and share with her your own experiences. Help her to manage the problem by giving her some options. Praise her if she is coping well. Try to avoid compounding stressful situations; for example, don’t argue with your spouse in front of her, especially if she is preparing for an important exam.
Being the victim of bullying — whether it is name-calling, teasing, exclusion, and stealing, hair-pulling, hitting or other physical abuse— is a trying, stressful experience. If your child is six years old rounder, she is unlikely to have any qualms about telling you if she is being bullied.
For most parents, it is mortifying to have their child accused of bullying or to recognize it for them. If this is brought to your attention by your child’s school, it is important not to become defensive and offer excuses. Listen tithe evidence and take advice.
At home, consider whether your child’s needs are met within the family. Those who feel inadequate or have low self-esteem, who are bullied by other family members or are victims of some type of abuse, who cannot express their feelings or who come from families where bullying is praised are more
Likely to be bullies -as are overly spoiled children. If you feel at a loss about how to deal with the problem, consider family therapy.
Before you rush in to protect your child, consider her character. Does she find? School difficult? Do siblings often browbeat her? Is she an only child, used to? Lots of attention? While you should always believe your child, it is not unreasonable to question silently her perception of events. If she has found school difficult, then she may focus on the rough and tumble of the playground. If she is having a hard time with siblings, she may find it easier to complain about children outside the family. If she is your only child, she may be unprepared for the mix of characters that are a part of life outside home. Do not question her too closely, but make an appointment wither teacher when your child will be otherwise occupied.
Children of seven years of age or older are less likely to be open about what is wrong. However, if your child is unhappy and being intimidated, her emotions will surface in the form of stress symptoms. She may fake illnesses to stay away from school or avoid taking certain routes to school. Listening to whether friends or other parents say, without resorting to inquisition, and noting the changes in your child are enough to warrant an appointment with her teacher.
While your child could be the victim of bullying, she may have misunderstood her schoolmates. When visiting the school, make it clear something is wrong, without being accusatory. Your child’s teacher should observe your child in class and the playground and report back. If the teacher tells you there are no problems but your child continues to complain, you should persist. Teachers are busy and cannot see everything. You should only remove your child from her school as the last resort if the situation is not resolved. When moved, a child often sees it as a failure in herself and will not necessarily find it easy to settle elsewhere. You should never show your anger, make threats concerning the bullies or behave in any way that is other than calm. If your child sees how emotional this makes you, she may, unconsciously, use into seek attention and, unwittingly, place herself in the position of habitual victim .