Bullies are everywhere; in the school playground, in the office, in the subway, on the street. You name the place and you’ll find a bully there. Bullies are not restricted just to the school playground. As children grow into adults, they’ll find out that in every arena of life, there’ll be a bully to deal with. You can help make your kids’ adult lives a lot easier by guiding them through how to deal with bullies.
Listen To Your Kid
Children rarely tell their parents that they’re being bullied at school. Most kids are afraid that they’ll be thought of as weak and wimpy if they confess. However, if your child is brave enough to tell you about the bullying, be a source of comfort and support. Don’t show your anger, either at your child’s perceived weakness or at the bully. Any overreacting on your part might just put your kid off being honest with you in the future.
Reassure Your Child
If your child has actually confessed to being bullied, the first thing you need to do is praise the child for being brave enough to talk about it. This will boost the child’s self-esteem. Tell your child that everyone is bullied sometime or the other. Explain that the bad behavior is the bully’s and not your child’s. Tell your child that there’s nothing wrong with them for being bullied. Let your child know that it’s now as much your problem as his or hers and that from now on, you’ll figure it out together.
Find Out The Truth
Sometimes bullying can be a very serious thing. Accidental or intentional injuries and sometimes, even deaths are caused as a result of bullying. Do your due diligence and find out about the bully, his or her family background. If possible, talk to other parents to find out if the same bully is bullying their kids. This will help you deal with the matter and be a greater source of support to your child.
Bullies may not change, but the victim’s mentality can change. Bullies usually target kids that are too scared to stand up for themselves. You need to help devise strategies to deal with the bullying, while helping to restore your child’s self-esteem and sense of dignity. Resist the temptation to tell your kid to fight back. This can lead to violence and if the bully is stronger than your kid is, you know who’ll lose.
TEACH YOUR KID TO AVOID THE BULLY
Teach your kid to avoid the bully at all costs. Explain to your kid that this is not a cowardly move; it’s the bully that’s the coward for seeking your kid out when alone. Get your kid to walk around with a bunch of friends. Let your kid use the bathroom at different times so he or she won’t be targeted. Make sure that your kid understands that unity is strength. Bullies seldom attack when others surround you.
TEACH YOUR KIDS TO CONTROL THEIR ANGER
All the repressed anger can make some kids put themselves in danger when they don’t need to. Teach your kid to calm down. Reacting to the bully won’t help since that’s what the bully wants; a good fight. Teach your child self control; if your child cries or looks upset, the bully will feel encouraged. Teach them to cool down by counting down from 100, taking deep breaths, ignoring the bully and writing down their angry emotions.
TEACH YOUR KIDS TO ACT NONCHALANT
Bullies thrive on scaring others. If your kid learns to control his or her anger, and learns to act brave, bullies will start seeing your kid as less of a challenge. Teach your kids to inform the bully to stop, in a clear voice, in front of people. Then your kid should just walk away. However, there are special, never-say-no bullies who’ll take this kind of attitude as a huge challenge and won’t stop at anything. That’s when you need to intervene and get the school involved.
ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD TO TALK TO TEACHERS
Just anyone in the school can help stop a bully; tell your child that if in trouble, he or she should approach any adult – a teacher, the janitor, the principal, other parents, cafeteria personnel and so on. This will stop the bully in his or her tracks.