According to a report from the Department of Education, released in 2013, around 80 percent of child abuse cases in school are due to bullying. During school year 2012 to 2013, there were 1,165 cases of child abuse resulting from acts of bullying reported to the DepEd; on the other hand, only 291 cases of non-bullying-related child abuse (including sexual abuse) were reported. This shows just how serious a problem bullying can be for Filipino students.
But how do we protect our children from bullying in school? First of all, parents must know the signs of bullying. These would include the following:
Not wanting to go to school. Students who are being bullied may feel hesitant about going to school in order to avoid the bullies victimizing them. Related warning signs are declining grades or losing interest in school work.
Physical symptoms that make them avoid school. Students experiencing fear and anxiety due to bullying may complain about getting headaches or stomach aches, or feeling sick.
Loss or destruction of personal belongings. Bullies may take allowances and other possessions from the student victims; or the victims may get their books, gadgets, clothing, etc., broken or destroyed by the bullies.
Physical injuries. Bruises, cuts, and other physical injuries may result from attacks of bullies against victims.
Changes in habits and behavior. A student being victimized by bullies may show changes in behavior. He or she might lose appetite, or eat less than normal. They may become quiet and withdrawn, or prefer to be isolated and alone; and avoid social situations. They may show signs of anxiety, fear, low self-esteem, or depression.
Difficulty sleeping. Victims of bullying may have trouble sleeping normally—like waking up at odd hours or not being able to sleep at all. They may also have nightmares.
Self-destructive patterns. A bullied student may display behaviors that are destructive to himself/herself or others. This may include acts of vandalism, or being mean or cruel to siblings, or being disrespectful to parents. They may also run away or go places without informing parents and family members. In severe cases, a bullied student may even feel suicidal or make a suicide attempt.
Have a heart-to-heart discussion with your child if he or she shows these warning signs.
There are ways to prevent bullying or to stop bullying when it is already happening. One way is to teach a child proper social skills. This will allow the child to be able to make friends and find proper companions when in school. Children who are isolated and unable to make friends are more vulnerable to bullying. In contrast, a child who has friends will have peer-support and will have others to protect him or her from bullying.
A child must also be taught to report any incident of bullying without feeling embarrassment or shame. This involves open lines of honest communication between parents and children. Only when bullying is reported can parents and school authorities act against the bullying.
Another way to help a child prevent bullying is for him or her to practice good personal hygiene and proper dress. Some school children tend to ostracize and stigmatize those who look different, or are believed to have some physical deficiency. Thus, children who dress “weird” or are “smelly” or “dirty” may be on the receiving end of taunts and bullying.
Believe it or not, even having head lice can be a cause for bullying. A student who is perceived as having lice may be ostracized, isolated, and bullied. This may lead to emotional trauma and psychological problems for the victim.
“It’s not having head lice, per se, that triggers the trauma for the student. Rather, it’s the social stigma that he or she receives. A student with head lice, not surprisingly, is seen as a source of contagion or a health risk. The student with head lice may be teased, mocked, and isolated from social groups and gatherings. This may lead to problems like low self-esteem, shame, loneliness, or even depression. He or she may also become the target of bullying,” according to psychiatrist Dinah Nadera, M.D.
When a student is found to have head lice, it is important for him or her to feel parental support and care. “Treating head lice can be an opportunity for bonding between parents, siblings, and the affected child. If you recall, back in the old days, in the provinces, people would have head-lice removal sessions. Family members would sit down and, with hands and fingers, remove head lice and nits from each other’s hair. Today, even with modern methods of head lice removal, family members can still bond with each other while caring for their scalp health,” said Nadera.
Fortunately, a lice problem is not difficult to fix. By practicing good personal hygiene, including taking daily showers and wearing clean clothing, a lice infestation may be prevented. Once a lice infestation already happens, however, a quality anti-lice shampoo will be needed. It’s best to avoid traditional methods of removing head lice that may be ineffective or even dangerous: for example, using gaas to kill head lice on the scalp may lead to serious scalp irritation or even burns.
Licealiz is one anti-lice shampoo guaranteed to be safe and effective in removing head lice and even nits (lice eggs). The active ingredient of Licealiz is Pyrethrin, which is sourced from natural ingredients — the extracts of chrysanthemum flowers. Pyrethrin is clinically-proven to remove head lice and nits. Adults and children as young as two years of age may safely use Licealiz.
Apply Licealiz on wet hair, lather, and rinse. For best results, leave Licealiz on the hair for 10 minutes before rinsing. This contains conditioning formula that keeps hair soft, healthy, and manageable. There is even Soothing Coolness variant that has menthol for those who want a refreshing, cool, after-shower feeling on their scalp. For the first two weeks of treatment, apply Licealiz twice a week. Afterwards, you may use it once a week to prevent a recurrence of head lice.
Licealiz is safe, effective, and convenient to use—and is even more affordable compare to other brands. Licealiz is available in drugstores and supermarkets nationwide.
Christian Melanie Lee is a freelance social media manager and web developer. She also devoted her time managing her food blog, and music/concert blog. One of the Hootsuite Ambassador for the Philippines since 2014 and currently working as social media manager for the local band, The Itchyworms.
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