How do we react when students make fun of our child at school?

05 June, 2017

How do we react when students make fun of our child at school?

What is more painful for a parent than feeling helpless in the face of their child's suffering? Being teased by peers in the schoolyard is common. Every child, one day or another, has been the subject of mockery and jokes. However, some children seem to be elected more often than in turn.

  • What to tell him? How to reassure him?

  • How to help these target children to get out of this situation?

  • How can I help him maintain his confidence?

  • How to teach him to react correctly and respectfully?

  • What to tell him? How to reassure him?

As parents, we often seek our words while often the child seeks to listen. It is important that we can offer him sincere and empathetic listening. Welcoming him in his emotional suffering without allowing himself to be overwhelmed by unpleasant emotions will be an opportunity for him to reassure himself. Show him that you trust his ability to get through this ordeal. Avoid revolting or feeling worried, it would only increase his feeling of helplessness and validate his distress.

Some children seem to be more targeted than others or at least they are affected more. These children often have a lack of self-confidence which results in a difficulty asserting themselves, taking their place in a group and a marked need to please and to be recognized. They feel like they exist, that they are someone and that they have value ONLY when they are reflected in the eyes of others. They are therefore frequently looking for approval or a sign of appreciation which sometimes leads them to act inappropriately. It is therefore important to help these children develop their emotional autonomy by targeting confidence in their abilities as a priority.

You can do an exercise with him that we like to do with children. Lay him on his back on a large sheet of paper (or cardboard) large enough for you to draw the outline of his body. Then invite him to represent himself physically as he sees himself by illustrating his hair, his eyes, his clothes, his special features, etc.

Then turn the sheet over. Ask him to list his abilities: I can read. I often share my toys. I respect the instructions. I am attentive to others ...

Point out to him that his abilities are hidden behind the sheet just as they are not necessarily apparent to those who look at him. Emphasize that no matter what others say or do, these abilities are his and that HE must be aware of them. If he forgets them, how should others remember them?

Post his self-portrait in a place accessible to him and practice making him list his abilities without looking behind the sheet. Thus, it will further integrate its capabilities.

How to help him to preserve his confidence?

By qualifying his efforts as well as his actions and by focusing more on behaviors and capacities rather than on the person, he will perceive details to be improved. This will prevent him from believing that his whole person is null, stupid and detestable. Changing certain aspects of oneself is more accessible than changing oneself.

This focus also goes through your relationship with him and the language you use to speak to him about himself.

Avoid phrases like:

  • " You are good. "

  • " You are strong. "

  • "How beautiful this drawing is! "

Make him talk about him in terms of capacity and not qualifier:

  • "Do you think you can do it?" "

  • "Can you lift this weight?" "

  • "What do you think of your drawing? "

Reinforce his positive perception of his abilities by raising specific points:

  • "You manage to do this complex exercise. "

  • "It's heavy and you can lift it. "

  • "I see that you have taken a lot of time and patience to make this drawing. "

How to teach him to react correctly and respectfully?

Identify with him his current way of reacting and lead him to understand the consequences of this reaction:

  • When you cry, do your friends avoid laughing or do they laugh more?

  • When you cry out to them to stop making fun of you, do they stop or do they continue?

Make with him a list of more favorable and appropriate reactions according to his objective:

Assertiveness - telling the mocker that their comment is not appreciated.
Use humor - practice a funny line that defuses mockery.
Avoid the opportunity - weave a new circle of friends that more closely matches your personality.

Identify resource persons - refer to the professor if he is the victim of bullying

Keep in mind that the more confident he is in his abilities, the less he will laugh at his school mates. It is therefore important to help him solidify his confidence by various means: developing a solid posture, doing martial art lessons, participating in group activities, giving him room to assert himself and decide, etc.

Thank you to the parents: Mirjana Ramesa, Nathalie LeBrun, La source en soi and Christelle Liebesens for sharing their precious advice on our facebook page.

And you? Do you have any other tips to help a mocked child?