Bullying is a part of life and most children will encounter it in some form or another. Fortunately there are ways of dealing with these situations and it’s important you make your child aware of this before things get too far.
One of the best ways to prevent your child from being a victim is to build up good relationships and self esteem from a very young age. Kids take in the atmosphere around them and it effects who they grow up to become. If they grow up within a confident and friendly household, then this will shine through in their personalities as they get older.
Bullies tend to go for the kids they know will be afraid of them, the ones who are insecure and most likely to be intimated by their actions. Make sure your child isn’t lonely. Keep a close family bond and encourage them to pursue their interests and pick up some hobbies or sports. Give them a full and active social life.
Ensure your child has good social skills. The above suggestions are a great way for them to learn and develop these. Bullies go after the vulnerable and needy children who can be easily manipulated. Teach them how to participate and share, so they know the correct way to make good friends and be part of a group.
Also make your child aware that bullies can be found where adults aren’t, so make it common practise for them to keep to the front of lines, to play in the main areas of the playground and to avoid any unsupervised areas.
It’s a good idea to talk with your child about what bullies do and the reasons they do it, so that they know what to look out for and how to respond if they were to encounter a bully. You don’t want them to retaliate with their own bad behaviour, but they need to know how to stand up for themselves. Try role playing with your child to test how they would react and make sure they know how to assert themselves.
Lastly, keep an eye on your child for any behaviours that may make them stand out to a bully. As adults, we may not notice these things, but it’s important to keep in mind that children are a lot more aware of tiny details, such as how someone walks, what their hair is like and the kind of clothes they wear. Children can often be mean and abrupt without realising it, and teasing can often turn into something more hurtful if dealt with in the wrong way. Make sure your kids know how to take a comment and react to it without turning themselves into a victim.
Written By a School Mum