We all know the phrase "children can be cruel," so how can a chronically ill child deal with the teasing they will most likely experience? Unfortunately, ignoring it won't always make it stop. Here are a few suggestions for kids with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
to head off teasing at school.
Role Play Teasing At Home
Photo © Kriss Szkurlatowski
Problem-solving skills can be honed with trusted adults and children before heading to school. Take turns being the "bully" and the "bullied." Help your child to find the best way to deal with the unkind remarks. When a child is able to deal with his fears in a comfortable and loving environment, he will be better able to face them for real.
Use Humor To Deflect BullyingHumor is a way to disarm the teaser. Help your child prepare some "comeback" remarks. The goal is not to tease the bully back, but to deflect the teasing with a lighthearted attitude.
Don't Respond With Anger Or Fear
The child doing the teasing
will be encouraged by a strong emotional reaction, such as anger or fear. A different, or unexpected response will confuse the child who is doing the teasing.
Use Strong Body LanguageBody language
is important, and can encourage, or discourage, the teaser. Try altering the body language from that of embarrassment and fear, such as looking down or running way, to confidence, such as a head held high.
Know That The Teaser May Have Low Self-EsteemThe child being teased should understand that some kids may tease as a way of covering up insecurities and fears. Children who bully or tease may have a difficult time at home or at school, and that could be the cause of their insecurity. This is a difficult concept for children to understand, but older kids and teens may feel some sympathy for a kid who bullies because he is secretly unhappy.
Remember That Some Kids Tease EveryoneSome kids just pick on everyone, and the teasing shouldn't be taken to heart. Next week the teaser may move on to someone else, and the episode will be soon forgotten.