What should parents do if their children are being teased and bullied?

Source: Psychologist, Lee Wai Tong

Currently, schools have fully resumed classes, and children have more time to spend with their classmates. Sometimes, children may be teased or bullied at school. When they don’t know how to express these emotions, they may react with aggressive behavior, which may be misunderstood by teachers.

For example, in a class of children playing together, one child may be teased for not performing well. At this moment, the child may not know how to handle the feeling of being teased or bullied, so when given the opportunity, the child may push or kick things, or even lie on the ground and scream. When the teacher arrives and sees this scene, they may naturally think that the problem lies with the child and may scold or lecture them. However, the teacher may not have noticed what happened before the incident.

When facing bullying or teasing, children often don’t know how to ease their feelings, which becomes a headache for many parents. In fact, when children are bullied or teased in daily life, they usually seek comfort from their parents first. If parents can comfort their children appropriately, such as if the child says to their mother, “Mom, they are making fun of me,” and the mother can comfort the child by patting them and saying, “Yes, sometimes some kids do that; it’s okay.” At this moment, it is a critical time, and the child will internalize this comforting feeling.

When the child returns to school and is teased again, because they received comfort from their parents before, they can comfort themselves or even ignore others’ teasing and continue playing or doing their own thing. This reduces the possibility of unnecessary misunderstandings by the teacher, who may think the child is misbehaving, pushing others, kicking things, or screaming. Of course, on the other hand, if the teacher can timely ask the child about the cause and effect of the incident, it is also a good method to let the child express their grievances and calm their emotions.