Bullying has wide-ranging consequences on the well-being of young children, says counselling psychologist Jeremy Bayer.
Bullying is an intentional act. There is a malicious undertone; be it physical, verbal or physiological.— Jeremy Bayer, counselling psychologist
He has urged parents to pay close attention to the subtle changes in their child's behaviour.
According to Bayer, these are some of the signs that your child may be bullied:
- physical complaints
- a decline in school performance
- social withdrawal and deterioration in social relationships
- early morning sickness
- school refusal or absenteeism
- torn clothes or bruises
- increasingly low moods
- suicidal thoughts or depression
Bayer says parents and teachers need to have ongoing conversations about bullying at school.
He argues that schools need to address bullying in their policies and create open non-shaming spaces.
Bayer unpacked the reasons why children may remain silent about bullying and why other children become bullies.
He also spoke about how bullying may be linked to mental illness in adulthood and the role of parents in modelling exemplary behaviour and attitudes.
Take a listen to his expert advice:
@Eusebius The SA Schools Act outlaws bullying & requires schools to have antibully policies. But schools often let learners down.— Noel (@noelndhlovu10) July 24, 2017
@Eusebius We had to resort to changing our sons school due to the lack of anti bullying policy. Teacher sold our son to hit the bully back.— Leo Rogers (@leorog) July 24, 2017