With the new school year just getting started, it is important to talk with your children about certain topics and issues they may face while in school. We are going to give you a few tips on how to talk to your children about bullying.
According to psychologytoday.com “Bullying is a distinctive pattern of harming and humiliating others, specifically those who are in some way smaller, weaker, younger or in any way more vulnerable than the bully. Bullying is not garden-variety aggression; it is a deliberate and repeated attempt to cause harm to others of lesser power.” So how can you talk to your kids about bullying and being bullied? Here are a few tips:
- Listen to what your children have to say with zero judgment. It is important for children to feel heard and to know that they are safe to speak freely about what they might be going through.
- Remind your kids that you were once a kid too. Relating your own experiences as a child to your children is a great way to make them feel comfortable sharing. It can make the topic less “scary”
- Keep an “open door” communication policy. Check in with your children daily about how things are going. Let them know that they can talk to and through anything with you.
- Give your children productive options for reacting to a bully. Let your children know the best ways to react to a bully like letting the bully know how they make them feel, disarming a bully with humor, or responding to a bully by saying something positive about themselves. Often a bully is looking for some sort of negative reaction, so if you can teach your child how NOT to give that to a bully, the hope would be that they stop.
- Encourage your children to seek help. While you know you are your child’s biggest advocate, using one of the many outside resources can be very effective for children to communicate what they are going through. Let your children know their options, whether it’s a counselor or trusted faculty member at school.
- Help build your child’s confidence. When your children feel good about themselves they are less likely to be bothered by bullying. Be sure to remind your children of their strengths and achievements. Talk to them about their interests and encourage them to participate in extracurricular activities.
There are a ton of great resources for learning about bullying, how to confront it, how to help your children deal with it, and even how to help end it. Bullying is a very real and serious issue. Whether your children are dealing with it or not, it is important to talk about it.
These are a few great resources and articles:
How to Deal With Bullies: A Guide for Parents from Parents.com
How to talk about bullying with your kids—without being awkward from Motherly.com
Helping Kids Deal With Bullies from KidsHealth.com