Helping Your Kids With Bullies
Bullying is an unfortunate reality in many schools across the country. Help your kids deal with it constructively with these tips.
You may even have experienced it yourself. Bullying at school is one of the most demoralising and terrifying things that can happen to anyone of any age and can be particularly devastating for your young one. Unfortunately, the problem doesn’t seem to be going away and in fact has taken on a brand new shape with social media and cyberbullying online. The scary part is that the kids who are being bullied are often too embarrassed or scared to talk about it. This often leads to more bullying and the child can suffer emotional scarring if not addressed constructively.
Here are a few ways that you can equip your child to deal with schoolyard and cyberbullying and we’re here to help.
Teach Your Kids That It’s OK To Talk About It
The first step to resolving bullying is to identify it. Fostering open channels of communication with your kids will allow them to feel safe enough to tell you about the problem without fear of repercussion. If your child does share this information with you, try to stay calm and listen to them with empathy and discuss how you both are going tackle the matter in a non-aggressive manner. This will teach your kids that violence is not the way to resolve a problem like this.
Talk To The School About It
If your child is the victim of bullying, we recommend you reach out to the school and the teachers to develop a constructive game plan to address the matter. Bullies are often victims of violent domestic settings themselves, so it’s best to approach the matter with care and patience. Often the solution might be as simple as switching your child’s classes or giving the bully the counselling they need. You should also teach your child to chat with the teacher immediately after a bullying incident so that the teacher can capture the details and keep a record of the incidents. This is important in case the incidents escalate and further disciplinary action needs to be taken against the perpetrator.
Make Sure Your Kid Understands The Buddy System
The buddy system is simply another way of making sure your child is never alone at school. This means ensuring that your kid has a buddy who will walk with them between classes and spend time with them at lunch. Bullies don’t like abusing people in public places or in front of other people, so teach your kid about the value of good friends and staying in busy areas where teachers are present to catch the bully in the act.
Teach Your Child The Value Of Walking Away
Bullies thrive on conflict and love to be challenged by people they consider weaker than themselves. If possible, teach your kids to act brave, smile (if they can) and walk away from the bully. It often leaves the bully deflated and embarrassed because they didn’t get the reaction they were expecting. And, this might become the reason they stop picking on your child altogether.
Quick Tips To Handle Cyber Bullying
- Teach your kids not to respond to online attacks such as insults – responding to it will only inflame the matter and give the bully the reaction they crave
- Tell them not to re-read the offensive comments – teach your kids to delete them immediately and to try and forget about it
- Teach them how to block bullies from their online circles so that your kids do not continue being exposed to the attacks
- Tell them to take a technology break and remind them that it’s easy to be a bully when you’re behind a screen and that only very insecure people bully others online
Bullying is a complex social issue and there really are no simple ways to tackle the matter. You will have to navigate the matter with your child, the school and possibly even the bully’s parents to resolve it. Just remember to be calm, empathetic and constructive, you will be teaching your child valuable conflict resolution skills that will help them become successful adults in future.