Bullying is a very real problem. It’s a topic that should be discussed even if it does not seem to be an issue for your child. These tips to help your child deal with bullying should be individualized for each child.
#7 – Teach Your Child The Dynamics Of Bullying
Research has shown that bullying begins with verbal harassment. Typically, the way the “victim” responds will determine if the bully continues. If the bully feels empowered, the bullying is more likely to persist. It’s crucial that parents discuss this aspect with their child. So their children can learn to stand up for themselves when a bully “tests” them.
#6 – Teach Your Child Some Appropriate Responses
Question the response: In response to an insult, teach your child to say something like: “Why would you say that?” Why would you want to tell me I’m dumb and hurt my feelings?
Assertion: Instruct your child to stand tall. Your child should name the bullying behavior and tell him to stop: “That’s teasing. Stop it.” “Stop making fun of me. It’s mean.”
Use “I Want” Statements: Teach your child to address bullying behavior with “I want…you to leave me alone.” I want you to stop calling me names.
Agree with the teaser: “Hey, four eyes.” / “Yeah, you’re right. My eyesight is bad.”
Ignore it: (Some fifth-graders offered these suggestions.) Pretend they’re invisible. / Walk away without looking at them. / Look completely uninterested
# 5 – Model Confident Behavior
It’s time to change if you are one of those who backs down quickly, only to feel “pushed-around” later. Even though your child may not say anything, he notices everything. Admittedly, there’s a fine line between aggression and assertion.
Teach your child the below values by modeling them yourself:
Create an image of strength in their mind
Belief in themselves and their values
Know their boundaries
Be respectful of others AND themselves
#4 – Practice With Role-Playing
It’s not enough for your child to see you model assertive behavior. Role-play with him appropriate behavior. Practice how he can stand up to a bully. Remind him that the bully is looking to provoke a response.
#3 – Avoid Unsupervised Areas
There is no shame in avoiding getting bullied. Remind your child that bullies look for areas where there are not any adults. Your child should try to avoid unsupervised hallways, bathrooms, and playground areas. Try standing in front of the line or sitting in the front of the school bus.
#2 – Teach Your Child To Intervene
Sometimes it may not be your child who is bullied, but he’ll notice someone getting bullied. Instruct your child to partner with the “victim.”
Have your child to physically stand with the victim and walk away from the bully. Instruct your child to say: “The teacher sent me to find you,” or “I’ve been looking for you.”
Get help from the “audience.” Get the other kids by your side and saying: “We need your help,” or, “You’re mean.”
#1 – As A Parent, Don’t Hesitate To Intervene
Your job as a parent is to be your child’s advocate, even when they don’t want you to. That means more than in teaching your child to stand up for himself. It means to protect your child. Make sure your child knows that she’s not alone in handling a bully. Contact the school immediately.
Learn about your child’s social life
Look for who influences in and out of school
Ask about what pressures kids feel in school
Pay attention to social media interactions
Encourage participation in activities outside of school