As one of the most common and traumatic social issues, bullying is a collective rather than an individual issue. As such, it requires every parent and teacher to stand up for their children, teach them to handle, prevent and report bullying, and to create an environment which is as safe as possible for their development.
1. Help them grow more confident
Kids are fast learners, especially when it comes to observing others and mimicking their behavioral patterns, so make sure that your own attitude is positive and assertive. High levels of self-confidence also stem from body language, and what better way to teach them than through roleplays? Encourage them to make age-appropriate decisions, express their choices and ask for their opinions. They will feel valued and included, and as a result, their confidence will swell. Teach them to focus on problems and thrive on adversity (even if it’s in the form of a complex math assignment), and encourage them to take responsibilities every day.
2. Teach them to stand up to bullies
Most of the time, bullies pick on kids with a mild temper and a kind attitude, but you can help them adjust their body language and demeanor in order to give off a completely different impression. Show them how to walk and stand up tall, with their head held high, and teach them to always be aware of their environment. Help them distinguish between types of bullying, and recognize the early signs, so that they become more observant of their own language which can either escalate or tame the situation. This is another chance for a roleplay when you will see how well they cope and which words they choose to stand up to their opponents. Finally, never underestimate the power of asking for help, so teach your kids to find the nearest adult when a problem arises.
3. Make adjustments wherever necessary
While no child deserves to be bullied, often something as simple as their appearance can be a trigger. Even if you haven’t experienced issues, it’s wise to take a close look at your child and take preventative steps, such as switching up glasses for lenses or giving them a haircut that will help them fit in better. Even if you are busy working, you can look for contact lenses online instead of a trip to the eyewear shop, in order to save some time, and you can peruse the options with your child. Such small changes can mean so much when it comes to bullies, and if you can prevent it, then do your best to achieve just that.
4. Create an open line of communication
As we’ve already established, bullying is a social, collective issue, hence we need to approach it from a perspective of the society. Start by talking to your child’s teachers, the principal of the school, and other parents, including the parents of the bullies. Everyone should pitch in with ideas and creative solutions to prevent and tackle future problems.
On the other hand, your child may need a pal to talk to, and not all kids will be so open as to say everything on the first go. Encourage them to share things with you, ask them about their days at school, tell them in turn about your day, and teach them the value of honest, open conversations.
5. Build up their social skills
A well-developed, confident child usually comes from an environment that supports numerous learning opportunities. Offer them to take up sports, art classes, take them to birthday parties and play-dates, and invite their friends over, too, all in the name of proper socialization. Learning new skills will give them more self-confidence, and more chances to meet new people, make friends and learn to recognize the acceptable social behavior, thus helping them notice bullies early on and develop appropriate responses.
We live in a world where bullies are everywhere, and they don’t disappear when we grow up. In fact, these issues may become more severe as kids age, since weapons and violence become more prominent in teen years.
That’s why it’s never too soon to teach our kids how to prevent and overcome all possible forms of bullying, how to defend themselves, and they will have a chance to grow up into strong, yet kind individuals who will not stand for violence or bullies.
This is a guest post by Scarlett.
Scarlett is a passionate writer and regular contributor at highstylife.com interested in fashion, lifestyle, and health. She loves traveling, you could say that she is a real travel addict, especially when she has a chance to visit some exotic destinations. She would tell you that inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places.