As we have talked about in a previous article, bullying can have a wide ranging effect on a child. These effects can be both psychological and physical, from low self esteem to health issues.
Therefore, it is important to nip bullying in the bud as soon as possible!
The aim of this article is to show ways that you can help your child deal with bullying. Empower them to not suffer in silence, but deal with the situation effectively. This is how they can be encouraged to stand up against bullying.
There are several strategies and techniques you can use, that we will outline below:
Instill Social Standards. For a child to understand when something unacceptable is happening, they first need to know what is appropriate in the first place. Help your child learn what social boundaries are and how they should appropriately interact and deal with others. Foster this knowledge of social standards and what should be expected from others. Also discuss how to react to people that don’t meet this standard.
You can relate this to bullying and how harmful it can be if these social standards are violated. Make this a discussion where your child can feel comfortable to ask questions or talk about their experiences.
Make your child aware of their support network. Make sure your child fully understands that teachers, parents, friends and family can act as their safety net. They are there to help them when bullying occurs. Role play some situations that may occur related to bullying and how your child can approach these adults to explain what happened.
Talk about this as a network. If one part of the chain doesn’t offer the required help, your child should be encouraged to move on to someone else until they do. Not all adults will be able to react well to these situations, so this will make the chances of your child getting help much greater.
Don’t let your child be the weak link. It is the harsh reality that a bully will often pick on a child that they perceive as weak or that can be manipulated easily by bullying. If you can bring your child up to be more confident, this will go a long way to preparing them to stand up against bullying. The outside world will seem much less scary to a confident child.
How your child goes about their daily life will reveal their level of self confidence to others. This could take the form of walking and talking with confidence. Also, expressing their ideas without fear. This form of body language will show potential bullies their level of confidence and that they won’t be an “easy target.”
Give you child a loving and supportive home environment. If your child knows that they can discuss bullying in an open and friendly way with you, they are more likely to come to you in times of need.
If they know you will be reasonable with them and not be critical or overbearing, they will come to you faster to discuss such things.This should be ingrained in your family culture, so every member can openly discuss issues and thoughts surrounding bullying.
Don’t take over. It is human nature that we want to take control of any bullying situation. It is natural to feel protective of your child and want to quickly resolve a situation.
However, by dealing with the bully yourself, your child has missed out on a valuable life lesson. They need to learn how to deal with bullies themselves. They need personal practice when it comes to standing up against bullying.
Make your child aware of your support and offer them advice. But, they need to be the ones to take action and remedy the situation themselves. Of course, you should keep an eye on what happens, and only step in if the situation turns extreme.
Taking over can seem like the best option when emotions are running high, but you will likely embarrass your child further and highlight their perceived weakness with your intervention.
Bullying is often about seeking reaction. Don’t let your child give those bullies the satisfaction of getting a reaction out of them. One of the main driving factors behind bullying is the thrill of getting a reaction and the influence the bully can have on the child. If you teach your child to walk away and not respond in these situations, you will be taking away a lot of the bullies potential hold over your child.
Bullying can have a very negative impact on a child, influencing their level of self-esteem and confidence. It can send them in a downward spiral of negative feelings and thoughts.
At Best Case Parenting, we hope we have given you some tips to make sure this situation doesn’t arise in your family. Work with your child and help them feel empowered. Empowered to deal with and stand up against bullying.
If you have any personal experience with bullying or advice you would like to share, we would love to hear all about it in the comments section below.