*image courtesy of wmky.org
Most kids will encounter a bully at some point during their schooling. Bullying can make a child feel hurt and confused. However, there are ways of helping kids cope if they find themselves being picked on by other students. Here are some tips to help your child deal with a bully at school:
1. Offer support.
Sometimes kids just want someone to listen to their troubles. Make sure your child knows that you’re always available if he or she needs to talk. Listen closely and respond in a gentle, loving manner. When kids feel like they have someone to support them, they’ll be better able to brush off the hurtful things bullies might say.
2. Tell about your own experience.
If you were a victim of bullying as a child, it may be helpful to share what you went through. Talk about how you felt and what helped you manage the situation. Hearing about how you overcame a bullying experience can give your little one hope for the future.
3. Provide guidance.
Some kids don’t know the proper way to respond to a bully. Since bullies often thrive on hurting other students, it’s a good idea for your child to ignore insults and teasing. If that doesn’t work, consider giving him or her a few key phrases to use in case an incident occurs. For example, when your child is called an unkind name, he or she might say something like “I’d prefer to be called by my real name.” If a bully demands lunch money, a firm reply might be “I’m sorry, but I’m using it to buy my meal today.” Teach your kids to be strong and direct with their responses. Bullies are less likely to pick fights when their targets appear confident.
4. Make your home a safe haven.
If your child is dealing with being teased at school, you want to make sure your home is a place where he or she can seek refuge. Put a stop to any additional bullying that might occur from siblings or neighbors. Continually remind all of your kids about how special they are to you. When children feel loved and accepted at home, it can make coping with difficult situations at school a bit easier.
5. Don’t let bullying get out of hand.
Mild teasing can quickly escalate to serious threats. If the bullying becomes too much for your child to bear or violence is involved, you should contact your student’s teachers and school administrators immediately. They can work out a time for you to meet with the bully’s parents and attempt to resolve the issue. Remember to remain calm during the meeting. The goal is simply to end the bullying and make school a pleasant place where everyone can enjoy learning.
No kid wants to encounter a bully, but it’s probably going to occur at some point during his or her childhood. Fortunately, there are several good ways to deal with bullying. By using the tips on this list you can help your child feel safe throughout the ordeal. Let’s encourage kids to get along and maybe someday we can finally put a stop to the hurtful remarks and upsetting behavior in our school systems.