Bullying distorts our own sense of value until we question our worth and potential. It makes us feel powerless and leaves us wondering why people don’t like us. Unfortunately now with so many outlets to bully through, more and more kids are experiencing
Bullying is not a rite of passage. As parents we need to be aware that bullying is reaching our children through their cell phones, face-book, intsagram, and emails. Relentless and apparently unavoidable, cyberbullying leaves no safe place for a kid to turn; not the classroom, the playground, the school bus, or home.
No kid should have to put up with bullying and no parent should feel unable to address the cruelty of bullying. The following are some ways parents can talk with their kids about bullying.
1. A bully wants your self-esteem
Never let your kid forget how amazing they are. Explain that no bully should ever make them change that or forget it. When a child feels good about themselves they become a less likely target of a bully. It is important for a child to know they can protect themselves by understanding what a bully really wants: to feel powerful by making someone else feel small and weak. Most bullies have lost their own sense of value and are now trying to take it from someone else.
2. Gather your friends around you
Bullies tend to target kids who they think are weak and vulnerable, preying on those who play alone and keep to themselves. Encourage your child to find friends they get along with and surround themselves with friends who appreciate them. Parents can help create friendships by planning play dates, getting your kids involved in after-school activities, and getting to know other parents.
3. Never be alone with a bully
If a kid tries to bully you, make it visible. Bullies typically thrive on the belief that you will not stand up to them, especially in public. Don’t be afraid to look at your bull and ask, “Hey, are you trying to bully me?” Call is like it is and they will stop.
4. Bullying is not something to be tolerated
Its okay if you can’t solve the problem on your own. TALK to a grown-up you trust and work together to figure out how to deal with the bully. It is important to address your child’s fears that they may be retaliated against if involve you in solving a problem.
5. Never lose sight of empathy
In life everyone wants to feel valued. Even a bully. By teaching our kids to feel sorry for kids who have lost their way, we teach them how precious each of us truly is, and how desperate we are to be heard, understood, guided, and valued. Reach out to a bully and try to show them they are valued too.