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Bullying is one of those things that we all go through at some stage of our lives. Even as adults we can become victims of bullying.
I remember as a child I was always the person who felt bad for the underdog, the kids that other people picked on. I was never popular but I had learned young how to stand on my own two feet as I had a person in my life that was a bully to me most of my life.
But teaching our children how to stop the bullying in today’s world is a bit harder than when I was younger. There are many forms of bullying.
- Facebook, Twitter, texting, which is called cyberbullying.
- Face to face bullying including words and or physical.
- Behind someone’s back, gossiping talking bad about someone and ruining their reputation.
The older the child is, the tougher it can be to help them come to a solution. If your child learns to stand up for themselves at an early age they have learned the guidelines on how to prevent it in the future. However, what that might also do is create a bit of a tough exterior that might not be real making it hard to determine whether or not what you see is a true self-confidence or a fake tough exterior.
Here are 3 ways I know of that you can use to deal with face to face bullying. Two of them I used at different times with success. The 3rd option you will see I offered to my children but they wisely used the other options
1: teach them to walk away
2: teach them how to use a verbal resolution
3: step in and temporarily make it easier for them.
To teach them to walk away only works if you can help your child see they have grown much more than those around them, and generally only works with older children. Those that are bullying, especially if they are older children, will eventually grow up and until they do, walking away is quite often the best solution, although hard to do. If your child is in their teens or older, any form of dealing with it could lead to a bigger issue as the older the children the more legal impact could be involved. What you can do, is help your child cultivate different friendships with other more mature people. This will give them a foundation of friendship that is strong, stable and worthy of their time.
Teaching your child how to use verbal resolution is harder to do but so worth it especially for the younger children. You could actually teach them a different life lesson if they are willing to take the time to do this right and with your supervision.
I remember my son was getting bullied in grade two. He came home crying and telling me what happened and my heart broke. After we dried his tears I got him to retell the story by asking questions. When I got the full story out of him, I was able to show him that he did a few things wrong which probably started the bullying. After pointing out some of the things he could have done instead, he and I then went to work on helping him overcome the bully. I told him there were two ways to handle this. I could come to the school and demand that the teacher make this kid apologize and by doing this making him look like a mommy’s boy, or we could work together to come up with things to say and or do that would resolve the issues. He opted for the second choice, which I so proud of him for doing.
Every day no matter what happened he came home and relayed the day for me. Then I would ask him questions like, “so how could you have answered that” or “what could you have done in that situation”. To make a long story short as this took about five months of coaching, he learned how to respond and react to this bully and it soon stopped. He has never had a problem standing up for himself since then. To him, at the time the issue was huge and looked unbeatable. But to me as the adult, I saw it in perspective and could teach him how to correct his reactions to situations like this so they would not keep happening in the future. A life lesson for sure.
Bullying is not good, but it can teach your child so much and in turn, give them confidence if done right that might not have been learned any other way.
There are many ways to help prevent and/or stop bullying. If you have any other ideas that you can share with the readers please do so in the comments as we can all learn from each other.