Bullying. It has become such a talked about issue among the media and in social settings. While I feel that bullying is real, sometimes the word is thrown around too quickly and easily. This is real life and unfortunately some people are going to be jerks. You won’t always encounter a friendly person. Some people are just miserable and you can’t change them. You can only change how you react to them. Don’t be a victim.
As parents, it is our job to prepare our children to deal with these situations. Instead of allowing them to be a victim, we should be teaching them how to handle the situation as we would. Here are 5 ways that you can do this.
1 – Role Play – One of the best ways we learn is by doing, right? So play it out with your children. Teach them how to respond to not only bullies, but anyone they may encounter in a negative way. They should be using unemotional language and portray confidence. This will cause the person to back down most of the time, since bullies are looking to assert power.
2 – Quality Time – It has been said that parenting is 80% connection and 20% guidance. It is so important that our kids feel connected to us because the lonelier they are, the more prone they are to bullying. You know how at work it is nice to have a boss with an open door policy? That is how you kid should feel about coming to you.
3 – Set the Example – I am sure that at some point something will happen to you as an adult, whether it be a bully or just some negative interaction, in front of your children. While you may not want to make a scene, this is the perfect opportunity to show your child the proper way to handle these situations. Also, don’t put yourself down in front of them as they are always watching and always modeling your behavior.
4 – Teach Them About Body Language – Body language is so important in any conversation. When it comes to dealing with a bully, they should stand up straight, maintain eye contact, stay calm and keep their voice even, and use their name whenever possible. A bully is ultimately trying to take the power away, and by using this body language they will see that it will not be so easy.
5 – Limit Screen Time – Limiting time with electronics is key. This forces them to get outside more and interact. Interaction is so important in teaching them the different types of personalities that they will encounter in life. In addition, a lot of bullying happens online. So, it is super easy to avoid if they are simply not on.
There are so many other things we can do to make sure our kids can stand up for themselves and not turn into a victim. This is a very short list but these are the 5 that I believe are the most important. The foundation, if you will. I also believe that it is important that if your child is scared or uneasy about someone, it is OKAY to go get an adult. Teach them the difference between being a tattletale and asking for help.
Bullying is all about power so if we teach our kids to not let them give away their power, we can stop bullying before it even begins.
Do you have any experiences with bullying? How did you handle it?