A Parent’s Guide for Empowering Your Child Against Bullying
Bullying can damage a child’s self-esteem and lead to other mental and physical challenges. If your child is being bullied, it’s important to address it before the bullying escalates.
You can empower your children to face bullies and deal with them effectively!
Use these strategies to arm your kids with powerful techniques against bullies:
- Set boundaries. Teach your child how to set boundaries with others. Discuss limits, what behavior they will accept from others, and how to respond when others don’t respect their boundaries.
- You can start the learning process by teaching your children that bullying is hurtful and has negative consequences. Discuss different boundaries related to bullying and address their concerns and questions.
- Teach your child to seek help. Help your child understand that teachers, parents, friends, and others can help them. Discuss how to approach adults and describe the bullying. Practice doing this at home, so your child will be ready at school or camp if the situation should occur.
- You can also discuss being persistent in getting help. If the adults are busy or not listening, then the children need to learn they can ask others for advice.
- Discuss confidence. A confident child is more difficult to bully and doesn’t make an easy target. Build up your child’s confidence at home, so they’re prepared for the outside world.
- Words, actions, and body language can reveal self-confidence. Teach your child to walk confidently, stand up straight, keep their head up, and remain calm. You can also teach your children to talk confidently and express themselves without fear. These are important empowerment lessons.
- Encourage conversations about bullying. One of the easiest ways to empower children is to listen to them.
- Your children should feel comfortable discussing their concerns with you, and know that they can talk without facing criticism.
- Children thrive in a loving and safe environment, so letting them discuss their fears is important.
- Children also turn to siblings during difficult situations. Your entire family should feel comfortable discussing bullying and its consequences.
- Avoid the temptation to interfere. Although it’s easy to get involved and confront the bully, this prevents the children from learning from the experience. The children lose the chance to stand up for themselves and face the bullies.
- Your child can be aware of your support without you micromanaging every bit of the situation. Let your child figure out how to handle the issue with your advice.
- You can continue to monitor the issue from a distance, so it doesn’t escalate.
- Teach your children to walk away. Bullies thrive on hurting others and want to see a reaction from your children. Teach them to walk away from certain situations, so the bully can’t hurt them. If your child can ignore the bully, then the bully loses their power over them.
- Bullies are often scared of adults and seek out situations without them. Teach your children to look for adults, so the bully will leave them alone.
Bullying can hurt a child’s feelings, thoughts, confidence, self-esteem, and future. However, you can work with your children to empower them by taking advantage of these tips.
Founded in 2006, PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center actively leads social change, so that bullying is no longer considered an accepted childhood rite of passage. PACER provides innovative resources for students, parents, educators, and others, and recognizes bullying as a serious community issue that impacts education, physical and emotional health, and the safety and well-being of students.
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How bullying impacts bystanders
It is not only victims who suffer. According to stopbullying.gov, kids and teens who witness bullying are more likely to:
• Have increased use of tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs
• Have increased mental health problems, including depression and anxiety
• Miss or skip school
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