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How you protect your child from bullying

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How you protect your child from bullying?

By Master Christopher Rappold

Simple Tip #1   Rehearse what to do

What do the statistics say?

Research shows that those who bully and are bullied appear to be at a greater risk for experiencing loneliness, trouble making friends, lack of success in school and involvement in problem behaviors, such as smoking and drinking.

Bullying generally begins in elementary grades, peaks in the sixth through eighth grade and persists into high school

Children and youth who are bullied are typically anxious, insecure, cautious and suffer from low self esteem and rarely defend themselves.

Like most things in life it’s what you do in advance that counts.  Take the time to talk to your children about how they are going to handle getting bullied.
Role play with them to see what their reaction is going to be, you may be surprised at how they react.     

Mold their reactions to what you would want them to do.  This will give your child the feeling in a confrontation that you back them up and will eliminate the paralysis that often comes as a result of fearing consequences if they stand up for themselves.   Take this one step and watch what a big difference this will make.

Simple Tip #2   Don’t hope, cope

What do the statistics say -

74% of 8 – 11 year old students said teasing and bullying occur at their schools.
75% of children have been victims of bullying during their school careers

Let them know that everyone gets bullied from time to time.  It’s how we react that counts.  Often when children get bullied they feel they are the only ones.  Let them know that verbal bullying happens throughout life and dealing with it will only make them better in the future.  Don’t teach them to hope bullies will stay away; prepare them for how to cope with a confrontation confidently.  Take the time to share personal stories from your experiences

Simple Tip #3  Code of Conduct

What do the statistics say -

60% of those characterized as bullies in grades 6-9 had at least one criminal conviction by the age of 24

Studies have shown that bullies are generally physically aggressive, hot tempered, easily angered and impulsive.

Spell out the “code of conduct” that you feel is appropriate for them.  Emphasize the importance of being friendly and walking tall.  Nothing will make your child less of a target than genuinely being nice to people and projecting confidence.  Sure, from time to time niceness can get taken advantage of or misinterpreted as weak, but largely it will pay off.  Walking tall means that they look and speak with a confident tone; many times the children that are picked on are easy targets because of the way they carry themselves.  Watch your child’s posture, eye contact and voice quality and make suggestions for improving this.

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