Bullying in Sport
Adriana Thompson provides advice on how to manage bullying experienced in sport by your kids.
Most parents sign their kids up for any kind of sports so that they would have fun, exercise, be active, and make friends. Generally, parents do not expect their kids to get bullied by either their peers or, what is even worse, coaches. Unfortunately, bullying is a widely spread problem in sports, and the chances of your kid getting bullied at some point are extremely high.
Sports can be very emotional, especially when it comes to competitive sports so that kids would overreact to their failures and act violently against one another just to find a way to cool their emotions down. Kids are not as good at controlling their emotions as adults are, and that is why any kid is likely to encounter a certain degree of bullying when playing sports.
Is There a Simple Solution?
Each school is unique, each coach has his or her own approach, and each team has its top guns. The chances are that your kid is going to be one of those top guns, and in that case, bullying would not be a problem. More so, your kid might become a bully him or herself, which is also a problem you would have to deal with. This is an essay about bullying from the standpoint of a victim, but if you notice your kid becoming a bully, you better act before it is too late. Bullying has always been a problem, but it is only now that society tries to tackle this problem and make schools safer for everyone. This essay offers some of the ways to prevent bullying on a more individual level, but if the majority starts to follow the positive example, it is possible that one-day bullying will be a thing of a past.
So What Can We Do?
Considering a high probability of bullying in sports, parents are concerned with the emotional and physical health of their kids and want to know the answer as to whether or not it is possible to prevent their kid from getting bullied. The answer is yes, it is possible to prevent your kid from bullying at school or in sports teams or at least reduce the chance of being bullied. Of course, there is no unified way to get rid of bullying, and what works in one situation might prove completely useless in the other, but you can come up with your own method by using certain tips.
Identify the Problem
First of all, you have to identify whether your kid gets bullied because they might be reluctant to tell on their peers. Nobody wants to be called a snitch, and your kid would most likely not tell you he or she gets bullied. There are some signs that might tell you that your kid has been having some troubles with peers.
First of all, watch for some evident hints like bruises, these are the most obvious signs of bullying. Your kid might also act isolated and avoid contacting with peers. In case your kid tells you he or she does not want to go to school or play sports anymore, they most likely have problems there.
If you notice bruises, approach your kid carefully and try to find out what happened. In case your kid reveals that he or she was being bullied, try not to let your emotions take best of you and think what you can do not to compromise your kid's reputation. Nobody likes crybabies, so think of a way to solve the issue without exposing yourself because you can make things worse. There are ways you can help your kid by giving a couple of valuable pieces of advice rather than just going to school and breaking all the hells lose on coaches and teachers.
First of all, find out why your kid gets bullied. There are common reasons why some kids become targets for bullying. For example, your kid might perform worse than the rest of the team, and in this case, the best way to overcome bullying is to play better and prove that he or she is a worthy member of a team.
Usually, success at sports brings respect of the peers, and the underdog can become a top gun really soon. Motivate your kid to become better and prove him or herself, and the rest of the team will soon show proper respect. In some cases, the team might just do not like your kid for no apparent reason whatsoever, and in this case, the only way to overcome the problem is for your kid to make a stand.
Making a stand is hard, and you have to support your kid as much as you can. We strongly recommend you not to engage directly, unless the situation gets really dangerous and your kid gets some serious beating. Most bullies do not want to cause any real physical injuries, and their goal is to cause emotional trauma to their victims, so you have to become the emotional powerhouse for your child and empower him or her not to give up.
Why do the Bullies Attack?
Usually, bullies do not attack kids who are emotionally stable and confident, they aim for those who show signs of weakness, so teach your child to be strong. We have to be realistic here, and unfortunately, it often takes some action to get rid of a bully. Most likely, your kid will have to fight back to show that he or she is not going to tolerate any more of these beatings. We do not encourage violence in this essay, but in most cases, bullies understand this language only, and they would only stop irritating you kid in case they get a decent fight back.
Contact the Coach
In some cases, you would want to contact the coach and find out why some of the kids do not like your child. Coaches spend lots of time with the team, and they know why players might not like each other. That is why a coach can give you some valuable insight and help in dealing with the problem. Just do not ask the coach to deal with the problem; this never leads to a satisfying solution, and your kid will most likely end up being bullied even more. The only person who can really solve the problem is your kid. You and the coach can only assist and support, but your kid is the only person who can get rid of this problem root and stem.
Step Aside and Let Your Kid Act
Leaving the problem to your child might not feel right, but that is exactly what you must do, especially when it comes to bullying in a high school team. Bullying is a part of a school life that can teach a valuable lesson. Many people have been through this problem, and those who overcame it on their own learned what it feels like to struggle and win over a formidable foe.
You have to support your kids, but at the same time, you have to teach them to stand up for themselves and fight back when there are no other options left. Bullying might be turned into the lesson on how to be strong and stand one's own ground in the face of a threat. In case your kid succeeds, he or she will receive valuable experience in overcoming problems and finding the inner strength to keep pushing forward.
So How do Parents Solve the Problem?
True, bullying is a problem, and it might be heartbreaking to know your kid is getting bullied at school but you have to stay strong, so you can teach your kid to be strong as well. In this essay about bullying, we offer you not to engage directly unless there is a real threat to your child's health. Try to control yourself and your feelings and support your child by teaching him or her how to deal with the problem rather than solving it on your own.
As a parent, you cannot solve the problem of bullying, you can only make it worse, and that is why you have to act indirectly by empowering your child. You have to sample and examine the issue and find a solution that would benefit your child rather than just rush to school arguing with everyone and making things worse.
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About the Author
Adriana Thompson is an author who earns her living as a freelance writer. She is writing a children's book hoping that someday she will become a famous writer.
The following Sports Coach pages provide additional information on this topic: