By Mumtaz Saley Moosa
For many of us, bullying is associated with trauma caused, and as a mother, many can tell you that they carry this trauma throughout their lives. Ghosts from the past never fade away; for many of us, this has influenced how we react when we see our daughters being bullied.
Let’s be honest and say that girls can also be bullies; they may not be as direct as boys. Still, their bullying can be in terms of teasing, isolating people into believing a lie about another person and now, with cyberbullying, this takes it up a notch. Bullying has dire emotional and well-being consequences, and we must teach our daughters how to deal with bullying.
- What to do if your daughter is being bullied.
- Our first instinct due to our response is to overreact, so remain calm so that your daughter feels safe confiding in you.
- Listen to your child; she needs someone who will believe her when no one else does.
- Speak from a place of reason. Is it a once-off thing? Was it teasing in a friendly way and assessed from there?
- Equip your daughter with coping skills and how to be more assertive, but if you see that she has become withdrawn and depressed, seek professional help as it allows her to find her voice again in a safe space and learn much-needed coping tools.
- Speak to the school to host workshops on bullying with what to do if you are being bullied resources.
Yes, bullying can lead to suicide, so again, I do mention that if you notice your child has become more withdrawn, seek help.
Be there as a parent when she needs to talk and vent and help her build her confidence in knowing that you are her safe space.
Bullying is serious, and many people overlook it as kids being kids, but we also need to understand that by equipping our children with the tools they need, they would not have to carry the same ghosts we do now as adults.