Nothing is worse than hearing that your child is being bullied or worse is bullying another child. It is estimated that approximately 3.2 million children are the victims of bullying each year, though that number could be much higher as many cases do not get talked about or reported. So how do you approach this issue with your kids? How can you make sure that they are equipped to handle bullies?
How To Deal With A Bully
Give Your Kids A Safe Zone
Make sure your child knows that they can come to you if they are bullied or if they see someone being bullied. They should tell you as a parent, and tell their teacher if it is happening in a school or playground setting. Children are often ashamed or afraid to talk about it. Keep an open door of communication on this topic so that your child knows it’s not only ok but that they are doing the right thing when telling if they or someone they know is being bullied.
Teach Your Kids Not To Bully
Teach your child to not partake in bullying activities. Teach them how to be the brave hero who tells and reports it. And if you have caught them bullying in the past, make sure that there are punishments that help them to recognize what they did was wrong.
Remain calm when you confront a bully or report bullying. Instruct your child also to stay calm. By acting out on emotions, you are not only escalating the problem but adding to it. Remain professional and polite at all times. Make sure that your child knows that if they name call back, they are giving into the bullying and not helping to stop it.
Stop It Right Away
Stop bullying on the spot if you can. The old saying of “nip it in the bud” couldn’t be truer of bullying. It’s best to stop it on the spot before it has a chance to grow and start destroying a child’s self-worth. Emotional bullying often escalates to physical bullying. Both types are harmful and need to be stopped immediately.
Tell Them To Say No
Teach your child to be that one voice that says no when watching bullying occur. Teach them that it’s cool to be the hero and say no, and stand up for someone. Chances are other children will follow along and stand up too after the first brave child says no to bullying.
Take It Seriously
As a teacher, I’ve known of successful suicides and suicide attempts that have occurred as a result of bullying that went unnoticed or unchecked. This is a serious threat to your child’s health in many ways. Do not brush it off as “kids are just being kids,” when they try to harm each other with bullying. Stay diligent and active in your schools and with talking to your child about this topic. Bullying in any form is never ok.
The Dangers Of Technology
Also, remember that in this day and age of technology, bullying does not have to happen just face to face. Mean text messages, emails, and posting rumors on purpose on Facebook are all forms of bullying. Be wary of bullies creating fake Facebook profiles so they can pretend to be doing and saying things as your child. Stay vigilant of all different ways that bullies use to victimize children.
Here are some resources on Bullying:
Pacers National Bullying Prevention Center.
If you have anymore bullying tips or would like to share your story, feel free to do so in the comments below!