Getting bullied is not fun. In fact, it can prove to be a living nightmare. Being bullied can leave emotional scars that can last beyond the schooling days. Kids bullied into silence suffer the most. From anti-bullying slogans to severe punishments, everything has been tried and tested to stop bullying, but it still exists.
Teasing, taunting, and pushing around are some of the negative actions used by bullies to raise their status within their peer groups. As parents, we cannot expect to be a bystander to bullying. So, how do we prevent our kids from getting bullied at school?
Get Support from School
While schools do their best to resolve conflicts, they cannot always be a witness to bullying. After all, a bully keeps his/her cowardly act hidden from the world. When victims tend to keep quiet, schools cannot be really accused of everything happening under the sky.
So, instead of starting a rampage attack on the school authorities, you can work with them to resolve the harassment.
With all the anti-bullying policies in place these days, schools are quick to follow their protocol for intervening in this matter to help the victim.
Once the bully is disciplined by the higher authorities, the bully might realize that the trouble and the embarrassment are not worth the fun he/she derives from bullying a victim. So, approaching the school is one of the surefire ways to put an end to bullying.
Contact the Bully’s Parents
For repeated acts of bullying, it’s best advised to contact the offender’s parents. With receptive parents, this matter can be resolved quickly before it escalates to a whole new level.
Remember, you should approach them in a non-confrontational manner to make sure that you guys are able to work together in a cooperative manner. So, don’t pre-judge them or else you might harbor a negative attitude towards them, which can ruin your efforts.
You can call or email them if you don’t know their physical address yet. Avoid using the word, “bully” in your conversation, or else parents might get quite defensive. Instead, explain the specific acts of bullying and tell them how your kid feels.
Some parents might feel quite remorseful about their kid’s behavior, and they will immediately intervene to fix the issue. The majority of the parents have zero tolerance for bullying, so they will try their best to figure out a solution for the ordeal.
Coach your Kids to Get Help
Just about any kid out there can be a victim of bullying. So, coach your child to get help if he/she happens to be a victim. An eye for an eye is not the answer over here. Kids should be taught how to walk away calmly from a conflict situation.
Also, coach them to report the matter to the teacher before it gets worse. Help them understand that reporting the matter is a bold move and not an act of cowardice.
Avoiding eye-contact, raising the voice, or moving backwards are all dead giveaways that indicate the bully that he/she has control over the situation. So, ask your kid to maintain eye-contact, to stay calm, and to maintain an appropriate distance from the bully.
Also, suggest your kid to avoid places where bullying occurs. Bullies tend to pick up isolated kids. So, advise your kid to be around his/her best buddies. Such basic coaching can go a long way in preventing or curbing bullying from your kid’s life.
Teach Bullying-coping Skills and Social Skills
Teach your kids some bullying-coping skills to help them maintain their self-control during uncomfortable situations. Try to role-play different bullying scenarios with your kids, until they get good at handling such situations. Also, teach them some social skills, so that they appear less attractive to bullies.
Socially active kids fit well in groups, so they are less likely to be targeted. Introduce them to other kids during events or invite other kids at home to make your kid more socially active.
A bully generally doesn’t have the spine to test victims in a group. They generally steer away from groups and choose isolated victims. They know that the targeted kid’s best buddies will stand by him/her. Therefore, the victim will not fall prey to bullying. So, kids can benefit a great deal from good influences.
Kids can draw power from the companionship and save themselves from the grief and agony. So, teaching some social skills to your kids can prevent them from getting bullied. It’s a great way to banish the bullies because bullies will not get a chance to use their aggression on kids who are united.
Make sure to act quickly or else your child might suffer a lot due to your procrastination. Your kid might feel that you do not care about the situation. As a result, they might stop reporting further episodes of bullying. So, failing to acknowledge and address the issue on time can backfire in a big way.
It will not only hamper your relationship with your kid, but it also feed the bully with more power. Untimely action will allow enough time for the bully to test the waters and take bullying to a whole new level.
Lonely and shy kids are the soft targets for bullies. Kids who feel lonely do not muster enough courage to share their problems with their parents. Therefore, it’s important that you have close ties with your kids so that he/she opens up about his/her problems.
Once the kids feel assured that their parents will stand by them through thick and thin, they automatically gain the courage and confidence to take the right decisions. So, a close relationship with your kid can go a long way in helping him/her fight bullying.
Victims that endure a lot during bullying for an extended period of time develop low-esteem. They can also fall prey to depression.
Therefore, it’s important to take bullying seriously and not brush it off as a one-off incident. Always provide a listening ear to the situation and remind your kids about the good things in their lives while you address any bullying that occurs.