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Is your child being bullied for being ginger

Is your child being bullied for being ginger
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Jokes can easily be labelled as being sexist, ageist, racist or bigoted. People telling them at work or in school can be, and often are reprimanded, and rightly so. However, make a joke about a person’s hair colour and it’s often a different story. The majority of redheads will have been teased about their hair colour – something natural just like skin colour – but somehow this isn’t treated as seriously.

Hurt

In 2012 Simon Walters, from Wolverhampton took his own life. The 14-year-old’s father told the inquest into his death that Simon had been bullied for months because of his red hair. He even resorted to dying his hair brown in a bid to stop the teasing. This case tragically shows the hurt bullying over having ginger hair can cause. What may seem like a bit of fun can have a profound effect on the person being the butt of the joke.

Overcoming bullying

Fortunately, few cases of bullying over hair colour have such heartbreaking consequences. But if your child is being bullied over the red hair they’ve been blessed with, then here are some tips to help overcome it.

Is your child being bullied for being ginger

Encourage talking

You may notice your child becoming withdrawn and not saying much about his time at school. If this is the case try to coax things out of her or ask someone you trust to have a word if you don’t think she’ll open up to you. Make sure she knows you only want to help and that you’ll consult her before taking any action.

Stay calm

While you may be raging inside that someone is bullying your child, it’s best not to let her see this reaction. Stay calm and reassure your child that you’ll be there and will do everything you can to make things better. Your child needs someone she can trust right now, so don’t fly off the handle and try not to panic. Having a strong source of support helps victims of bullying get through their experience so listen to what she has to say and take her opinions into account.

Blame

Is your child being bullied for being gingerChildren often blame themselves when they become a victim of bullying so it’s important to reassure them that the problem lies with the bully. Of course, this doesn’t make bullying any easier to deal with but understanding that she hasn’t brought it on himself will help your child maintain self-esteem and confidence.

School

All schools need to have an anti-bullying policy in place but your child’s school can’t do anything to stop the bullying until they know about it. This means either you or your child has to tell a teacher what has been happening. Many kids will hate this idea as they don’t want to be seen as being a ‘grass’ so try to be discreet about it. Make an appointment with the class teacher or head of year to discuss the matter. If possible, take with you a list of incidents, including who was involved, when they happened and whether there were any witnesses.

Build self-esteem

When you’re out and about or watching television, point out gorgeous redheads and people who have dyed their hair red. Many people are jealous of redheads because of their beautiful hair colour and the sooner your child realises this, the quicker her self-confidence will return. The majority of redheads will have been teased about their hair colour – something natural just like skin colour – but somehow this isn’t treated as seriously.

Hurt

In 2012 Simon Walters, from Wolverhampton took his own life. The 14-year-old’s father told the inquest into his death that Simon had been bullied for months because of his red hair. He even resorted to dying his hair brown in a bid to stop the teasing. This case tragically shows the hurt bullying over having ginger hair can cause. What may seem like a bit of fun can have a profound effect on the person being the butt of the joke.

Overcoming bullying

Fortunately, few cases of bullying over hair colour have such heartbreaking consequences. But if your child is being bullied over the red hair they’ve been blessed with, then here are some tips to help overcome it.

Encourage talking

You may notice your child becoming withdrawn and not saying much about his time at school. If this is the case try to coax things out of her or ask someone you trust to have a word if you don’t think she’ll open up to you. Make sure she knows you only want to help and that you’ll consult her before taking any action.

Stay calm

While you may be raging inside that someone is bullying your child, it’s best not to let her see this reaction. Stay calm and reassure your child that you’ll be there and will do everything you can to make things better. Your child needs someone she can trust right now, so don’t fly off the handle and try not to panic. Having a strong source of support helps victims of bullying get through their experience so listen to what she has to say and take her opinions into account.

Blame

Children often blame themselves when they become a victim of bullying so it’s important to reassure them that the problem lies with the bully. Of course, this doesn’t make bullying any easier to deal with but understanding that she hasn’t brought it on himself will help your child maintain self-esteem and confidence.

School

All schools need to have an anti-bullying policy in place but your child’s school can’t do anything to stop the bullying until they know about it. This means either you or your child has to tell a teacher what has been happening. Many kids will hate this idea as they don’t want to be seen as being a ‘grass’ so try to be discreet about it. Make an appointment with the class teacher or head of year to discuss the matter. If possible, take with you a list of incidents, including who was involved, when they happened and whether there were any witnesses.

Build self-esteem

When you’re out and about or watching television, point out gorgeous redheads and people who have dyed their hair red. Many people are jealous of redheads because of their beautiful hair colour and the sooner your child realises this, the quicker her self-confidence will return.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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