How Having A Dog Can Help Your Child Cope With Bullying

Bullying continues to be a problem in schools all over New Zealand. According to recent data, 26% of students said that they experienced at least one of six bullying behaviours several times a month over the previous year. The report also indicates that students are resorting to psychological or emotional bullying rather than outright physical violence, both of which can have a negative impact on a student’s sense of self. If you suspect that your child is being bullied, it’s important to find ways to empower him and build confidence which can help him to cope with bullying in a positive way. One way to do this is to have your child care for a dog, as having a pet can do wonders when a child is feeling lonely or isolated. Here’s how having a pet dog can help your child deal with bullying.

Having a pet can enhance your child’s social interaction
Dogs are wonderful conversation starters in children. Having a pet can help your child to interact with someone else who also has a pet as kids from different backgrounds can find common ground in their love of dogs. If your child befriends another pet owner like himself, encourage your little one to invite his new friend and pet dog to your home to play indoor games like fetch, hide-and-seek, and tag. As your child interacts more, he makes himself less of a target of school bullies as he opens himself up to new friendships.

Having a dog teaches your child how to have empathy and kindness
One way to cope with bullying in a positive way is to teach your child to empathise with the bully, as most bullies are also coping with personal problems and insecurities. Having a dog teaches your child to have empathy and kindness, even to those who are being mean to him. On the flip side, if you suspect that your child is the bully, having a pet dog can teach him to be kind to those who are smaller or more vulnerable than him.

A dog can improve a bullied child’s mood
Bullying can result in your child developing feelings of loneliness or depression, but having a dog is one way to elevate your child’s mood and make him feel better. Just spending 15 to 30 minute splaying with a frisky pup can make your little one feel more relaxed and happier once he gets home from school.
Having a dog may not end the bullying, but it can certainly help your child cope with it. With your help and a pet’s help, your child can deal with bullying in a positive way.

Written By: Emma Mills, Health writer on HR issues and workplace bullying.
According to Emma: “Bullying is particularly concerning to me, given some of the problems my brother faced while he was at school, and I’m sure that sadly some of those issues have transferred into his adult relationships and confidence.” We hope this article along with the other previous articles would help someone – Let us know your views or comments…..