With the increasing exposure to social media and the children growing up too fast, bullying isn’t limited to stories in books and movies but it’s happening to many kids. Bullying is so common that the parents now have to develop special skills for dealing with their children when they are getting bullied. The healthy way to deal with any situation that is difficult and sensitive is to have open and honest communication.
Whereas parents don’t want their child to suffer through physical, verbal or emotional bullying; it can happen. The parent doesn’t have to teach the kid to be violent and be a bully, but they have to teach the kid how to stand up for themselves and be independent. There’s a fine line between the two though and parents can often be emotional and respond in the same way.
You need to present a strong front in front of your child and here are some ways through which you can communicate with them.
Guide for moms to respond to bullying:
Often the child doesn’t know how to respond to bullying. The responses of your child can help them with future bullies. Teach them the list of responses available. They can say to their bullies “no that sounds bad”, “that was bad”, “back off”, etc. Teach them to respond and walk away than involve themselves in a physical fight. They can contact the authority or you if it gets out of hand.
Role play scenarios wherein you are the bully and your child has to respond to the bully, will teach them how to respond to different scenarios related to bullying. The role-play will make them confident and find the ideal response where they sound firm and can effectively ward off bullying.
Body language is the universal language and it speaks volumes than actual verbal words. Teach your child to look into the eyes of their friends and family or to whomever they are talking to. This will teach them to hold their head high while talking. This will make them appear confident. You can teach them this by sayings like “notice the color of the eyes of your friend while talking.” Also, it’s effective to teach them different faces. Ask them to pull the brave face when they are being bullied. This will make them feel positive and be able to handle any situation. The bully will also be intimidated.
Recognizing the signs of bullying before it happens is very healthy. You can ask them about their daily interactions with their friends. Ask them who do they like and who they don’t. By digging deeper you will come to know if anything unpleasant is going on.
Bullying can occur outside school as well. The social media and the internet is a brutal place. Protect your child from cyber bullying as well as school and real-life bullying. But, don’t be overbearing and overprotective. Stay strong and with communication, you and your kid can go through anything.