Bullying has been around forever and will probably never go away. However, there are things we can teach our children when they encounter a bully.
To help our children deal with a bully, we first need to understand what bullying is.
● An imbalance of power. Use of physical strength, popularity, or embarrassing information to control or harm others.
● Repetitiveness. It’s not a one time deal. The situation happens several times.
Bullying is intentional. The child or adult is out to cause harm or discomfort. Remember, adults can be bullies too. And as adults, we need to understand if we are being bullied.
A child who is direct with saying, “I don’t like you or not wanting to play” isn’t a bully in my book. It’s a child who is direct and matter of fact. Heck, I’ve had my feelings hurt by a few kids. Kids can be brutal sometimes. Has a kid ever told you they didn’t like your outfit when you thought you were looking good?
Shoooooooot! They had me all in my feelings. lol
There’s a way to handle these types of situations as well. I tell my kids that they will not be everyone’s cup of tea, and everyone will not be theirs. Everyone will not give you fluff in life. And that’s ok. You don’t have to like everyone, and you don’t have to let everyone in your life, but that doesn’t mean you bully them.
We MUST teach our kids how to protect themselves when encountering a bully.
● Stress the importance of speaking up – the first line of defense is self. Let the individual know their words or actions are NOT ok.
● Let an adult know – we stress to our kids that they should let us know about any uncomfortable encounter. No, it doesn’t mean we will contact the school, parent, or child. It’s for us to know and can monitor if it escalates.
● After your child has spoken up and the situation doesn’t stop, let them know to tell the teacher or adult in charge.
● Documentation – This is important as parents. If the encounters continue and you need to follow-up with the school, be sure to send an email. Document, document, document. If it’s with another parent, jot down a few notes about the conversation and date it.
Talk to your kids about bullying from both ends. Being the bullying and being bullied.
What tips do you have on teaching children to stand up against bullying?