Teasing is an inevitable part of childhood, and kids with difficulties are often the target of bullying in school, especially those with ADHD. They usually do not know how to react appropriately and would sometimes just be silent about it, especially when someone teases them. When this happens, parents should be the children’s comfort and refuge.
My son with ADHD has a learning difficulty. Because he is a bit slow and always feels anxious, he often ends up to be the laughing stock in the classroom. One day, he was embarrassed by another boy in the class because he was nervous about their activity. There was a time when I fetched my boy and saw him crying on the school grounds. I felt like someone was squeezing my chest seeing my child in tears with dirty clothes on. When I asked him what happened, he told me how that same boy threw something at him and called him names. The boy has crossed the boundaries, and I had to do something about it.
I brought my son home, calmed him, and talked to him not to think about it at that moment. I tried to appease him. And then I called the teacher regarding the incident, and we talked. She promised to speak to the parent’s child about it.
I then got back to my boy, and after seeing he has calmed down, we talked about the incident.
Encourage Your Child To Be Calm
Parents of children with ADHD should be prepared for this once their kids take their first step on the school premises. Parents should always remind their children not to overreact so as not to intensify the problem. Instead, in any case of bullying, they should train the child to walk away if possible, and then immediately inform the teacher or the authority in the school so they may address the issue appropriately.
Teach your child how to approach a teacher correctly when he does get bullied.
When walking away is not possible, saying, “Ouch!!” or “Stop it” aloud is effective to call someone’s attention when someone is hurting him so that it would stop. As what Fredric Neuman, M.D. says, “It is important to find a strategy that allows the injured or offended parties to maintain their own dignity and self-respect. It is desirable, if it is possible, to find some way of answering back when treated unfairly.”
Encourage Your Child To Be Open To You
Having open communication between you and your child will encourage him to tell you everything that is happening to him. He will have the heart to open up to you about even the most embarrassing things that happen in school or things that are done to him.
Bullying can turn your excited boy into an anxious one, and may even fear coming back to school. When it has gotten to this point, talk to your child that you do not like what others are doing to him and that you will do something about it in order for bullying to stop. You can talk to the teacher, principal, and to the parents informing them that your child is being bullied.
Teach your child techniques on how to deal with bullies in school. You can even role-play it in your home or practice how he should react and talk to the person annoying him.
Keep An Open Mind Amidst Bullying
It is hard to learn that your kid is being bullied at school. But as a parent, I do not need to be emotional about it. I need to stay calm myself so that I can talk to my kid and I can make him listen to me as I teach him proper techniques on how he can handle the situation when he is alone. “Learning to hold onto these feelings without acting immediately takes practice,” says Grant Hilary Brenner MD, FAPA. It is also essential to let the teachers know that bullying is happening in the class or on the school premises in order to avoid it from worsening. If the teacher does not take action, you can go to the principal or guidance counselor for them to handle the situation accordingly. “Bullying is not only isolated as a childhood problem, but also affects adolescents and adults as well,” Kristen Fuller, M.D. wrote.
Kids should feel comfortable going to school and should have access to free and appropriate public education. If you got a kid who is a bit of a slow learner, you could have him be evaluated for IEP. There are many programs available that protect our kids’ right to education. We, as parents, just have to know more about it by talking to school authorities or the school district administrator.