When your child is confronted by a bully, it’s hard to know what your next move should be. Is it just kids being kids? Or is it something more serious?
Knowing your options and planning out your potential bullying plan ahead of time will ensure you’re reacting proactively when a bully comes to call.
From the best parenting books to the ultimate tactics, confronting and neutralizing your child’s bully has never been simpler.
What Is Bullying?
Bullying can be defined as mean actions or threatening behavior that occurs repeatedly and is commonly directed at one person by another person or group who perceives they have more power, and they want to harm or cause distress or fear. The victim feels afraid, hurt, and/or embarrassed.
Bullying can take many forms: verbal, psychological, physical, or it can be a combination of these.
What Do You Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied and Left out at School?
Bullying occurs in a ton of different ways, but witnessing your child being bullied and left out at school can really hit home.
Signs or red flags your child is being bullied include:
- Change in grades, hygiene, appetite, personality, mood, and sleep patterns
- Feeling sick: having headaches or stomach aches, etc.
- Avoiding friends, family, activities or situations, and school
When you’re trying to eliminate a bully, make sure you’re confronting the issue with understanding, empathy, and care.
If your child is being left out at school, consider the following:
- Why are they being left out?
- How are your child’s peers reacting to the bullying?
- Is it one person who is bullying, or is it a group act?
In most cases, bullying can be corrected by uniting the bully, the group, and the victim through a mutually inclusive activity.
Recreational activities that promote team building are the ultimate anti-bullying platforms. Try fun-filled, inclusive group exercises such as:
- After-school outings pizza parties
- Scavenger Hunts
- STEM experiments
Tons of activities can unite your child and their bully. No matter what you do, make sure your event is mutually inclusive and doesn’t separate participants into teams.
The Best Parenting Books for Child Bullying
When your bullying issues have surpassed traditional bonding and activity-based unification, try a trusted parenting book.
How to Combat a Bully
The best way to tackle a bully is to be non-confrontational. Observe what he or she is doing, and respond strategically.
There are certain ways to react to being bullied that are more appropriate. A bully wants power and to feel in control, and they desire to hurt others to feel better about themselves. Truthfully, however, bullies don’t have any control, sensitivity, or empathy.
Here are ways your child can appropriately react to a bully:
- Don’t allow the bully to make you feel bad about yourself. Combat negativity with positive self-talk.
- Don’t cry and let the bully know they’ve won.
- Use humor to thwart the bully.
- Tell the bully how you feel in a determined and calm manner.
Combat your bully by understanding their motivation:
- Do they feel threatened by your child?
- Are they seeking attention?
- Are they trying to seek approval from a group of your child’s peers?
By investing your time into understanding your bully’s motivation, you’ll be able to counteract their efforts and eliminate the bullying by correcting the issues.
Correct Bully Behavior
Bullies come from all different backgrounds, and socio-economics principles don’t always have a great deal to do with bullying behavior.
Correct your bully’s behavior by:
- Including the bully in entertaining activities with your child and their friend-group
- Be your bully’s champion by giving them the attention they’re lacking. Use positive reinforcement and complimentary feedback to build your bully’s confidence
- Treat everyone fairly. Even if your bully is present, ensure that they’re being treated fairly. Set an example for the group by ensuring that your child’s bully is treated the exact same way as everyone else
- Never shame and always look for teachable moments
Providing your bully with positive attention and group inclusion will lead to a better sense of self. You’ll be supporting developmental growth and fostering a strong relationship between your child and their bully.
How to Prevent Bullying
Preventing bullying is something that needs to be tackled on all fronts, from the school to the parents.
As a parent, here are four key ways to prevent your child from being bullied:
- Help your kids understand what bullying is, the different forms it can take, what behavior is okay and what isn’t, and what it feels like when you are being bullied.
- Ensure you recognize the signs that your child is being bullied as oftentimes they don’t share when they witnessed bullying or were a victim. Seeing red flags ensures you act speedily.
- Foster an anti-bullying mindset. While kids should learn that it isn’t okay to tease, shove, or hit other kids, they should also learn that being critical, intolerant, judgmental, and spreading rumors are unhealthy and are bullying behavior too.
- Empower your child by providing them with the tools they need to deal with bullies and cope when they are bullied.
A Stop Bullying Action Plan
An action plan to stop bullying helps you look at past or mock situations, analyze what happened or could have happened, and lets you come up with potential steps you can take in the future.
If you have a young child, you can complete this action plan with them, and if you have a teenager, they can complete this by themself or with you.
Action Plan Template
To download this free template, click on the link here: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/rine7qogl6w9bimo20kld/Best-Parenting-Books-Bully-Action-Template.docx?dl=0&rlkey=khli1p3uhxe7t5udtd8bp36rs
Moving you and your child’s life beyond bullying doesn’t have to be a huge event. Understanding and positive reinforcement will go a long way to correct your bully’s behavior and improve your child’s lifestyle.
When you’re caught off guard by bullying behavior or other childhood conundrums make sure you’re prepared to tackle your child’s biggest issues before they start by following our blogs, channels, and social media for the latest advice.
To learn more about kids being bullied and how to put an end to this, as well as how to teach kids about this serious topic, check out my book, Teaching Kids About Bullying: How to Fight Bullying by Teaching Kids Emotional Skills and Social Skills.
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