[Productive Teens - Part 3] Seven Tips for Parents to Deal with Bullying

[Productive Teens - Part 3] Seven Tips for Parents to Deal with Bullying | Productive Muslim
Photo by Thomas Ricker: flickr[dot]com/photos/trixer/
Undoubtedly there aren’t many things more frustrating for a parent than seeing their child struggle with bullying and peer pressure. It makes many parents feel powerless, as so much seems to happen under their radar. Many children, especially teens, are reluctant to share what’s going on in their social lives.

Let us take a look at some important ways in which you, as a Muslim parent, can help your child:

1. Recognize the Signs

Not every child will take the initiative to come up to you and tell you that he is being bullied. In fact, a lot of children wouldn’t. Be observant of your child, so you will notice when something changes in his behavior or expression.

Signs can include:

  • Your child waits with using bathroom until he gets home from school. School bathrooms can be bully-hot spots.
  • He often gets home hungry even though you have packed enough lunch or given enough money.
  • Belongings get damaged or ‘lost’ more frequently.
  • Your child feels more negatively about himself. He may think he’s not good enough, or blames himself a lot.
  • Social withdrawal, especially when your child stops socializing with his usual friends.

2. Listen, Don’t Judge

One of the most valuable skills as a parent is to be able to listen to your child. Really listen, that is, without judging. Let your child talk, without giving your opinion, offering solutions or getting upset. As important as it is for kids to stay cool, the same goes for parents. Getting upset, or at the other end, downplaying your child’s feelings do not empower him to deal with the situation effectively, and will keep him from telling you about his issues in the future. It is natural for a parent to feel emotional and to want to react to what your child says, but be patient, listen carefully, and think things over before you rush to judgment.

3. Create a Strong Bond

Having a good relationship with your parents is something that gives child a feeling of security and well-being that can protect against the negative effects of bullying. This means spending time with your child, making your child feel loved and valued. As Muslims, spending time with your child and strengthening your relationship should also be about helping each other get closer to our Creator. Rituals like salah, fasting, reading Qur’an and attending lectures are excellent opportunities to spend time together while growing in the deen at the same time.

4. Support Network

You as a parent will also need a network of supporting people, whom you can talk to and get advice from. Family members and brothers or sisters from the local community should naturally be a part of this, but also try to maintain good relationships with other adults who play a role in your child’s life, such as teachers, school officials, and friends’ parents.

5. Boost Self-Confidence

Try to increase your child’s self-confidence and sense of accomplishment by seeking out hobbies or activities that he is good at. These could include a variety of things, so it is important to do this together with your child and take into account his personality and talents. Every child has natural abilities, whether athletic, artistic, social or otherwise, and being able to do something you are good at will boost self-esteem and give a sense of empowerment which can help him to stand up against bullying and peer pressure.

6. Be an Example

Parents serve as role models for the behavior that they want to see in their children. So, if you would like your child to be able to solve conflicts effectively, confidently and Islamically, you should set the example. Do not retaliate, use insulting language, backbite, or let your emotions get the better of you. Instead speak with truth and justice, show forgiveness and patience, and keep your emotions in check.

“O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak the truth.” [Qur'an: Chapter 33, Verse 70]

Abu Hurairah reported that a man said to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), “Advise me! “The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Do not become angry and furious.” The man asked (the same) again and again, and the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said in each case, “Do not become angry and furious.” [Sahih Bukhari]

7. Coach Your Child

Chances are that your child could use some day-to-day coaching to deal with bullying and peer pressure effectively, and you as a parent are in an excellent position to fulfil that role. So, look at the tips for dealing with bullying and peer pressure from the previous posts, talk about them and help your child on a practical level to implement those things that are useful in your situation. Come up with ideas of things to say or to do, help find beneficial activities, and facilitate healthy social contacts. And most importantly, keep motivating your child to do the right things and put their trust in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

“And whosoever fears Allah, He will prepare for him a way out.” [Qur'an: Chapter 65, Verse 2]

This was the third and last article in the series “Let’s Beat Bullying.” I hope you benefited from reading. Please feel free to share your experiences and tips on how to help your child deal with bullying and peer pressure in the ‘Comments’ section!


14 thoughts on “[Productive Teens - Part 3] Seven Tips for Parents to Deal with Bullying

  1. Jaza Akallahu khair, I’m single now, I will keep these advices and I will practice when Allah give me Family. Many Thanks Sister, May Allah reward you well.

  2. This was an excellent article. I benefitted a lot from it. I don’t have children yet, but I hope I will be able to help my brothers if they ever need it inshaAllah. May Allah reward you for this great article. :)

  3. Great Article,
    I would also like to add the following?

    Recognise know one has the right to touch or to harass you in any way. All schools have very clear policy’s in this type of behaviour.

    Understand that the accusations, allegations, criticisms, taunts etc that the bullies make are all false and are a projection of the bullies’ own weaknesses, shortcomings, wrongdoings and failings. Whilst the accusations often contain a grain of truth, that grain of truth is there to fool you into thinking the whole accusation has validity, which it does not. The bullies’ have criticisms, allegation, accusation, taunts etc have no validity whatsoever. It is important to understand this.

    Bullies like to use today’s Social media to bully you. Always show your parents and send copies to the school.

    Keep a diary of everything that happens. If possible e mail the contents to the school and to your local police if needed. Remember thus is also a criminal offence and is taken seriously by the Police…

    W A Salaam

  4. Its good article Alhdamdulilah but these are the things talked about me ! i am 19 old and. I never get my dad love for me , he never teach me these things , he says bad words in front of me and beat my mom , i got no sister , i got two big bro and one small bro , they all mad of dad , he doesnt change , I am mentally ill now ! i got panic attack , i am confused of my life, I hate myself so much , I feel bad all the time , I run from those people who talk about studies or job work , i dont get that background where my dad says son i am with u or ever teach me anything , except giving me harsh examples and treat me like i am his slave or something not only me my other bro and mom too ! :(

    1. Salam alaikum. That sounds like you’re in a very negative situation! Do you have someone you can talk to about your problems? Please do try and reach out, you can also contact me by email. May Allah ease your affairs.

      Maryam Mujahid

  5. Very important issue. In fact, bullying is really bad in schools. It can be so horrifying and parents often don’t have a clue about it. Boys are more vulnerable as they feel that they are supposed to be ‘manly’ and not be bullied, so they often don’t reveal what is going on…

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