I felt that bullying would be an appropriate subject for my first blog of the year seeing it is back-to-school week. Bullying is a problem that is prevalent in society more so than ever these days particularly with the widespread use of social media. There are practical steps you can adopt to prevent your child from being seriously harmed from bullying. In doing so, you are empowering them against the actions of a bully who abuses their power in unhealthy ways.
1. Creating loving, compassionate and respectful relationships is the most effective way in guarding children from bullying and becoming bullies themselves.
2. Remain connected to your child no matter what situation presents itself.
3. Ensure that as a parent you model confident and assertive behaviour to others.
4. Ensure that you instruct your kids well on how to assert themselves in a respectful manner.
5. It is crucial for kids to be taught basic social skills. . Bullies are attracted to kids with social insecurities, therefore empowering them to become more social skilled lessens their vulnerability to being bullied.
6. Instructing your child how to successfully respond and stand up to bullying prevents the situation from escalating.
7. Role play practicing assists your child with confidently developing strategies instead of becoming emotional and retaliating. Explaining to them the importance of defusing, rather than inflaming the situation, and giving them specific examples of what to say and do is invaluable. Some examples of these strategies are - advising the bully that they are choosing to ignore that comment and - by counting to ten before responses are given so the child stays calm.
8. Teach your child that bullying can be frightening and ensure the importance of asking for help.
9. Ensure that your child intervenes in preventing bullying he/she witnesses. Rescuing the victim and getting help can assist in stopping the bully in their tracks.
10. Teach them basic bully avoidance by not frequenting areas that aren’t supervised.
11. As a parent don’t hesitate to report bullying to the authorities so that your child doesn’t feel isolated in tackling the problem themselves.
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