It’s essential for parents to be aware of the various forms of harassment, including bullying, which can have a significant impact on a child’s well-being. Here are some helpful tips for parents on dealing with bullying.
Bullying behavior can also occur outside of school hours because of the widespread use of technology in emails, texts, direct messages, and even social media posts. These interactions, which are referred regarded as cyberbullying, can be very hostile and nasty, and their negative repercussions are frequently carried over into the next day’s classes.
Knowing how to spot when your child is being bullied is the first step in dealing with bullies.
Physical complaints like stomachaches, as well as worries and fears, and a youngster not wanting to attend school, are all symptoms commonly associated with bullying, as pointed out by Dr. Steven Pastyrnak, Ph.D. Avoiding or withdrawing from stressful situations is a typical defense.
Although these signs are not exclusive to bullying, they still call for more investigation into their potential causes. Lauren Hyman Kaplan, a school counselor specializing in social-emotional learning and bullying prevention, says you still need to figure out what’s happening.
Asking inquiries and encouraging your children to discuss their social circumstances might be useful. For example, ascertain which of their buddies they get along with and which ones they don’t. Dr. Pastyrnak advises that effective communication should be established before bullying issues arise among children. Keep it extremely general for younger kids, but if you have any reason to suspect an issue or your kid has indicated a problem, you should insist on additional specifics.
You can ask questions more directly as children become older since they are much more conscious of peer relationships. When your children speak, pay close attention to what they have to say and control your own emotions.
“Often, parents will feel upset or frustrated, but children don’t need you to overreact. Kids require your attention, assurance, and support. They need to believe that you are dependable, capable of handling any scenario, and strong,” Caplan claims.
Here are the best strategies for dealing with bullies, according to professionals, if you’ve established that your child is being abused by their peers.
Dealing With Bullying
It’s crucial that you teach your child that bullying is never their fault if they are a victim of it. Bullying always has more to do with the individual who is acting out the behavior rather than the target of the behavior.
Although a child cannot stop their own bullying, it might be useful to have a plan in place for how to deal with it and perhaps avoid it from getting worse. Here are some ideas for creating a toolbox for kids to utilize in challenging circumstances where it may be difficult for them to think clearly.
Make a list of possible answers.
Try telling someone to quit bullying behavior by teaching your child various phrases. They must be uncomplicated and clear but not hostile: “Get away from me.” “Slow down.” It wasn’t nice, that.
Another option is for your kid to say, “Sure, whatever,” and then turn around. The Big Book of Parenting Solutions author Michele Borba, Ed.D., emphasizes that a response shouldn’t be a put-down because doing so enrages a bully.
Play out hypothetical situations.
Role-playing is a great technique to boost your child’s self-esteem and equip them to handle difficulties. Your youngster can practice several replies as you role-play the bully until they feel comfortable managing difficult situations. Teach your youngster to talk with a forceful voice as you role-play.
Encourage good body language.
Dr. Borba advises parents to instruct their children to practice noticing the color of their friends’ eyes and to use the same technique when conversing with a youngster who is troubling them. As a result, they will be compelled to hold their heads high and project more assurance.
That’s not to say that your child’s level of self-assurance will always deter a bully or that a lack of it will encourage bullying, but it could give them more agency in a challenging scenario. Moreover, encourage them to switch to a “brave” expression if they are being upset by you by practicing creating sad, happy, and brave faces. Dr. Borba argues that appearance is more crucial than words when dealing with bullies.
Maintain a line of communication open.
Check in with your kids every day about how things are going at school. They won’t be frightened to inform you if something is wrong if you speak in a calm, polite manner and foster a supportive environment. Insist that they speak to an adult about any issues, even those they believe to be “minor,” and that their safety and well-being are crucial.
Increase your child’s self-assurance.
The less likely it is that bullying would lower your child’s self-esteem, the better they feel about themselves. Encourage your child to participate in hobbies, extracurricular activities, and social settings that bring out their greatest qualities. Remind your youngster what makes them special and encourage them to continue displaying good conduct.
“As parents, we have the propensity to focus on unfavorable events, but kids actually listen better when their excellent behaviors are emphasized,” Dr. Pastyrnak explains. Children’s self-esteem can be impacted, their long-term confidence can be increased, and bullying situations can be avoided by celebrating their abilities and fostering healthy relationships with others.
Tell your youngster that you are proud of them when they describe how they stopped a harasser in their tracks. Point out a child standing up to a bully you see in the park to your child so they can adopt that strategy. Above all, stress the concept that your own parent may have imparted upon you as a child: If your child exhibits a lack of interest, a bully will typically move on.
Teach Your Kid the Correct Reactions
Youngsters must comprehend that bullies want to injure people and have a need for control over others. They frequently lack restraint, compassion, and sensitivity. When dealing with bullies, children may find it beneficial to employ the following tactics:
Techniques for dealing with bullies.
- Keep in mind how valuable they are. Teach your youngster to respond positively to criticism by emphasizing their positive qualities.
- Sending out a strong vibe. To combat bullying, instruct your child to speak up and explain to the offender how they feel and why the offender should stop their behavior. In a quiet, firm tone, show them how to do it. Consider the following example statement your kid might make, “Having a legitimate name makes it all the more irritating when you resort to slurs to refer to me. Please use my given name from now on.”
- Comedy is a disarming tool. Encourage your kid to ignore the bully’s threats and to laugh them off.
- Maintaining safety and telling a grownup. Encourage your child to leave a dangerous situation and tell an adult what happened if they ever feel endangered.
- Being kind to other people. Encourage your child to speak out against bullying and ask others to do the same for other students. The most essential lesson to impart to your child is to treat others how you would like to be treated.
How Parents Can Help Prevent Bullying
In the end, it’s up to parents to support young kids in coping with a bully. Help kids develop the ability to make wise decisions, respond when they are wounded or see bullying from another child, and be prepared to step in if required. Many steps are outlined below.
Report persistent, serious bullying.
Go alongside your child to speak to a teacher, guidance counselor, principal, or other school officials if they are hesitant to report the bullying. Understand the school’s anti-bullying policy, preserve records of incidences of bullying, and keep track of the situation by checking in with the institution to see what steps are being taken.
Use community resources to deal with and end bullying, such as a family therapist or a police officer, as necessary.
Urge your child to act with integrity.
Being an upstander, or taking proactive action when a friend or fellow student is being bullied, is different from being a passive observer. When you discuss how one person can make a difference, ask your child how it feels to have someone speak up for them.
“When kids speak up, it’s 10 times more impactful than anything we could do as adults,” says Walter Roberts, professor of counselor education at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Join forces with your kid’s school.
Inform your child’s school about any instances of bullying. “The school staff cannot be expected to know everything happening. Inform them of any circumstances,” Caplan claims. Even though more schools are putting bullying prevention programs into place, many still lack the resources or assistance they need.
According to Dr. Pastyrnak, “Parents and teachers need to be aware and actively involved so that they can monitor it appropriately. Discover how to implement anti-bullying and anti-violence initiatives into the school day.
Get in touch with the offender’s parents.
The best course of action is to include the parents only in cases of repeated intimidation and when you believe they will be open to cooperating with you. Make it plain in a non-confrontational phone call or email that you intend to work out a solution with them. You might use language like this:
“I’m calling because my kid has been crying every day this week when she gets home from school. She claims that Suzy has made fun of her and kept her out of the playground games. I’m not sure whether Suzy brought up any of this, but I’d like us to facilitate their improved communication. Have you have any recommendations?”
Teach coping mechanisms.
Remind your child who is being bullied that it is not their fault, that they are not alone, and that you are here to support them. Kids should be able to recognize their feelings and be aware that they want to hear about them so they can express how they are feeling. So put it into practice and set an example. Speak about your sentiments and help children understand their feelings in everyday settings.
No of the child’s age, parents shouldn’t think that this is just typical peer behavior that will resolve itself. Kaplan believes it should never be tolerated when a child is picked on or taunted. Supporting your child in dealing with a bully will boost self-esteem and stop a bad situation from worsening.
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