You might be surprised to know that bullying is a common occurrence in 25% of public schools. Unfortunately, statistics point toward the rising cases of bullying in schools, with 1 in 5 high school students reportedly having suffered bullying in the past year. In some schools, it occurs on a daily or weekly basis putting kids at the risk of physical as well as psychological injury. It is important to bully-proof your child and keep him from becoming an easy target and fall prey to the scourge of bullying.
How To Bully-Proof Your Child
When bullying becomes a nuisance, you ought to take a strong stand against it, while helping your child learn to face the odds. If you want to bully-proof your child, it all begins with building a confident and resilient kid. By equipping him with a strong foundation of resilience, you can strengthen his ability to cope with such stressors.
Tips To Bully-Proof Your Child: Talk About It
The first thing you would want to do is talk about bullying with your kids. This conversation is crucial to helping your child become confident so that he opens up about being bullied, seeing other family members sharing their experiences, views, and support. Moral support at this time will help make him confident enough to face the odds. As a parent, you would do well to praise him for being brave enough to discuss bullying.
Tips To Bully-Proof Your Child: Encourage Positive Body Language
If a bully can sense a “frightened” victim, they get an ego boost and thrive on hurting others. So when you want to bully-proof your child, have him practice strong, assertive body language. This will help him face the bully with confidence and can undermine the bully’s power. However, it is critical to keep calm and ignore the bully’s actions. If a bully strikes, the best defense should be to ignore hurtful remarks, without showing any panic and walk away.
It is equally important to show a bold but not aggressive face. A child who isn’t easily frightened and exhibits positive body language has a better chance to steer clear off a bully’s radar. So, a lot depends on your parenting guidance.
How To Bully-Proof Your Child: Buddy Up for Safety
A bully often targets a child who is alone rather than those in the company of their friends. Remind your child that they should make good friends and stay together on the school bus, in the school playground, or in the bathroom to thwart the risk of being bullied.
Additionally, encourage your child to make new friends who are like him. In the company of like-minded friends, your kid will feel more confident. Remember, bullies often target kids who are different.
It is a good idea to look for an after-school club for your child, where he can meet kids that share similar interests.
Tips To Bully-Proof Your Child: The Value of Walking Away
Teach your child the value of walking away to diffuse tension. It is not easy to walk away when someone is bullying you, but this is the most effective way to bully-proof your child and help them control their nerves to diffuse a potentially explosive situation. When your child shows control over their nerves, despite the bullying attempts of a bully, he will deprive the latter of the reaction they expect. This might be the reaction a bully needs to sense that he is bullying the wrong person.
How To Bully-Proof Your Child: Talk to His Teacher
When a school, preschool, or kindergarten is the site of bullying, you might want to take the school authorities into confidence. Look for signs, including the unwillingness of your child to go to school. Inform the administrators right away about the problem. Most schools have an intervening protocol. While informing the school administration, it is important to be specific and clear about the constant harassment episodes being faced by your child.
Tips To Bully-Proof Your Child: Train Him To Seek Help
One of the best ways to bully-proof your child is to encourage him to seek help from trusted adults, such as a teacher, coach, or a supervising adult. For example, if bullying happens on a school bus, the child should complain to the bus driver and school authorities to keep a check on the bully.
Tips To Bully-Proof Your Child: Find Safe Places
Ideally, bullies choose places that are isolated and where there is less risk of being caught. It is in your child’s best interest to choose specific places to avoid that could be potential targets of bullies. Talk to your kid about safe places. Teach them about particular routes to avoid to and from school.
Tips To Bully-Proof Your Child Online and Offline
There is a high risk of cyberbullying these days. Your minor child is at a high risk of being bullied. Choose the websites that your child should surf and which ones to avoid. Agree to a set of rules about what your child can and can’t do online. Coach them to report any episode of offensive behavior online. Take all steps to keep kids safe on social media. Take their cyber time seriously and try to understand how they are using the Internet, with whom they are interacting, and whether you are faced with a potential cyber threat.
Being bullied can have negative consequences for a kid. This may result in low self-esteem, poor school performance, depression, stress, and anxiety, among other psychological problems. He may be hesitant to go back to school after vacations. Such victims of bullying are more likely to enter a state of utter despair for most of the days.
As parents, you want your child to feel confident so that they can face any bullying experience. They will be able to bounce back with your support. You should work toward helping your child learn to handle, adapt to, and overcome the difficult times they will come across in life. The aforementioned tips to bully-proof your child should help you lower the risk significantly.
Ravneet also blogs at www.wellnessguide.com