Pavan, a four-year-old who was once excited about taking the school bus is suddenly reluctant to do so. He misses the bus almost every day, forcing his parents to drop him to school. It turned out that Pavan was being bullied by a six-year-old en route school.
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Divya, a nine-year-old was a happy girl because all the popular girls at her new school were being nice to her. But then, she found out that one of them had spread mean rumors about her. Divya cried herself to sleep that night and started going to the sick room more often, to avoid the games period and lunch hour to avoid the girls.
Unfortunately, the kind of bullying that Pavan and Divya have experienced is common and most kids tend to experience some amount of bullying at school. A bully can turn even a simple activity like going to school or a visit to the local park, a nightmare to kids. Bullying can leave deep emotional scars on your child and hinder development.
If your little one is being bullied and you want to stop it, here’s how to teach your child how to deal with a bully.
Most kids have been mocked or teased by an older sibling or a friend and this is usually just harmless fun, but when this teasing becomes hurtful or unkind, it turns into bullying and you need to put a stop to this. Help your kids understand when they need to raise a red flag. Make her understand that reporting bullying is not an act of cowardice, but rather a bold and a powerful move.
Be there for your child
Bullies target victims by making them feel alone and powerless. Always stay connected with your child and make her understand that come what may, you have her back and there’s nothing that would change this.
Do not tell her that thing will eventually change and act quickly. If you delay or wait till things get worse, your child might stop looking up to you for help. Also remember, the longer a bully has power over the victim, the stronger the hold gets and you might find it difficult to help your child.
It’s not telling on someone to report bullying
Make her understand that she will not be belittled for telling on someone if she reports about bullying to an adult. The bully wants your little one to believe that she will be mocked at for running to others with her problems and that’s how your little one gets overpowered by the bully. So, tell her that she has to speak up and it’s not Tattling to report bullying.
There is little that you can do alone when it comes to handling bullying. So, talk to authorities and confide in teachers and other caregivers, if your child’s bully is a fellow schoolmate. This will make sure that the bully is monitored and no other child gets victimized.
Teach her to be assertive
Teach your child to be assertive and direct when she talks to the bullies. Tell her that this conversation needs to be “unemotional” and direct to let bullies know that she do not intend to be victimized. It is important for you to highlight being unemotional because, expressing any sort of emotion like fear or anger will be a signal to the bully that he can wield power over your child with ease.
Do not hold it against the bully’s parents
It is important that the bully’s parents get to know of his behavior, but that does not mean you pick a fight and retaliate with the family. Remember this is also an opportunity for you to teach your child about problem-solving. Stay calm, think out the possible solutions and help your child overcome the situation he’s facing.
Use Body Language
While you coach your child about handling a bully and using assertive communication, it is important that you use body language to reinforce your words. Train your child in using effective nonverbal communication to express his assertiveness. Here are a few traits she could use
• Maintain eye contact
• Keep her voice and tone calm and even
• Stand at an appropriate distance from the bully
• Use the bully’s name when she speaks to him
Teach your child not to use that unemotional, non-verbal signs like raising her voice, looking away or avoiding eye contact with the bully, etc., as they are dead giveaways of she being afraid.
Behaviorteach To Be Happy Hour
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