Bullies can make school a scary place for your children. If your child is encountering a bully, there are some things you can do as a parent. Here are 10 ways you can help your child learn how to deal with a bully.
Talk About It
First, and most importantly, make you child talk about the situation. You need to know the details of this bullying issue to know how to best help them. You should ask questions, listen, and be available whenever your child wants or needs to talk. If they won’t open up to you, try having them talk to someone else they trust first, then allow yourself to ease into those conversations.
Don’t Show Your Feelings
If you know your child is being bullied, one of the worst things you can do is to show pity or sadness in front of them. It’s your responsibility as their parent to be a role model for how to be strong and brave. Keep a level head around your child so they can look up to you and feel comfortable with you.
Don’t Bully Back
It’s very important to make sure your child knows not to fight fire with fire. Bullying back can be a kid’s instinct, but it will only make their situation worse. Explain to them what it means to “be the bigger person.” Teaching your child to treat everyone with respect and kindness will help to feel confident in the long-run.
Remove the Bait
Whether it’s lunch money, a certain snack, the sweet note you leave in their lunch, or a pair of shoes, don’t send your kid to school with it anymore. Taking away what’s causing the bullying can improve your kid’s confidence and potentially stop their situation altogether. Make sure your child feels completely comfortable going to school in what they’re wearing, especially if you’re still dressing them.
Teach your child the value of having one or two buddies who are willing to stand up for them at school. If they can’t seem to find any friends on their own or are having trouble telling their friends what they need, get together with a few of your friends and explain what’s happening to your child. They can proceed to explain to their children what it means to be a good friend, and then your kid will have some buddies to help him or her avoid scary situations at school.
Be Encouraging at Home
When your kid is being bullied at school, it’s crucial to make the house a happy place. We’re not saying that they never need to do chores or be punished if they act out, but make home a place they feel confident, respected, and loved. Make sure to compliment your child when they do something they enjoy or are proud of; boosting their ego a little at home can improve their bravery at school.
Try rehearsing interactions with the bully at home before they actually happen. Teach your child the best things to say in his or her situation so that when they encounter their bully they can be better prepared to stand up for themselves. Make sure your planned response is simple, effective, and kind so your child doesn’t end up forgetting it or bullying someone back.
Develop New Skills
Being bullied can make a child feel very insecure. Developing new hobbies and skills can bring happiness and pride. It’s important for your kid to love themselves the way they are, and being good at something can tremendously help. Try teaching them something they’ve always wanted to try, or let them join a sport with kids from other schools.
Make Sure It Isn’t Continuing Online
Cyberbullying is becoming increasingly popular, and you should look out for your child. If your child is being bullied at school and is at the age of using technology, it’s critical to make sure the bullying isn’t happening in the cyber world as well. They may hate you for it, but you should keep up with all their social profiles and messages — they’ll thank you in the long-run.
Confront the Issue
If all these tips aren’t working to help your child deal with a bully, you can take it a step further. Look up the school’s policy on bullying to see if your kid’s bully is breaking any rules. Even if they aren’t, take a list of your child’s complaints to the principal and ask him or her what the school can do to help you and your kid. Write down what he or she says and hold them to it. If your problem persists, you can talk to the bully’s parents.