Bullying occurs at any age, whether it is at school, during extracurricular activities or elsewhere. It can be difficult to talk to your child about the impact of bullying, especially if you think your child may be bullying others or could be a victim of bullying. We’ve put together some simple recommendations you can use to make a tough conversation a little bit easier.
Discuss How Bullying Impacts Us
The most important first step is talking to your kids about how to identify bullying and the affect it can have on themselves and others. Explain that this type of behavior is not acceptable and that even if they aren’t experiencing it personally, they should know how to help others who are. Talk about which adults they should go to at their school if they are being bullied or see someone else who is. Encourage them to stand up for themselves in a productive way by saying stop or walking away from the situation altogether.
Encourage Communication About Bullying
It’s important that your children feel like they can come to you if they are experiencing bullying. Let them know that you are here to support them and if they need to talk, the lines of communication are always open. By discussing their feelings openly, you can assist them in finding ways to cope or speak with leaders at their school to see what can be done to eliminate the problem. If your child isn’t openly approaching you about the topic, bring it up yourself to check in and encourage sharing.
Talk to Kids About Respectfulness
By setting the expectation at home and teaching your child about being kind, respectful and compassionate toward others, it is easier for them to treat others with kindness outside of the home. Teach them that teasing people is wrong and that it is important to respect everyone, regardless of any kind of difference like gender, race or appearance. Consider getting your children involved in local community groups with diverse members so they can become accustomed to being around other children from all walks of life. Make sure that you’re being a good example of this at home, too.
Address Any Bullying Issues Immediately
If you notice your children bullying or being bullied, it’s important to make sure the issue is eliminated as quickly as possible so they understand the severity. Working with teachers, guidance counselors, and even your child’s doctor can be a good place to start if he is having issues with bullying others. If your child is the victim of bullying, reach out to administrators at school or wherever the act is taking place and provide support at home to give him the confidence he needs to cope.
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