Whether your child is on the playground, in the classroom or online, chances are high that they’ll encounter a bully. Statistics from the American Justice Department say one out of every four children will be bullied at least once during their adolescence, with another set of stats showing about 77 percent of kids have been the victim of this ever-growing trend.
It is impossible to avoiding bullying altogether, but it is entirely possible to arm your child with strategies and techniques to diffuse bully encounters and help keep your child safe. Check out some tips to help stop your child from becoming a victim and halt bullying in its tracks.
Encourage Your Child to Talk About Bullying
Let your kids know they should never be ashamed or afraid to tell you or another adult about bullying, and that being the victim of a bully is not their fault. You can even open the discussion to the entire family, asking each member to share his or her own bullying experiences. Being supportive of your child and checking their school’s anti-bullying policies to make sure they’re being enforced can add another layer of protection.
Don’t be Superman, or Wonder Woman
Running to the bully’s parents may seem like an obvious solution, but it can sometimes backfire and create a worse situation for your child. If the bullying is happening at school, alert school faculty and let a school official act as the mediator. If the bullying is happening off school grounds, you can always turn to your local police department for help if a situation becomes threatening.
Teach Your Child the Buddy System
Bullies are more apt to strike a child who is alone, rather than one who is with friends. The buddy system involves encouraging your child to have at least one pal by your child’s side whenever possible, especially when on the playground, riding the bus or in other situations when bullies seek out victims.
Encourage Calm Behavior
Bullies are typically encouraged when their victims become visibly upset, angry or distressed. These emotions fuel the bully to continue their campaign against your child. When the victim remains calm, on the other hand, bullies quickly become bored, realizing a calm victim is no fun whatsoever.
No matter how hurtful or horrible the bully’s remarks may be, your child is typically better off ignoring the remarks, calmly telling the bully to stop, and walking away. Telling an adult about the encounter is safer than letting the bully see a reaction, or trying to use physical force to stop the bully themselves.
Enroll Your Child in Personal Protection Classes
Classes that teach your kids what to do in dangerous situations can help immensely. Below are a few courses that will help your child handle a bully.
Bully-Countering Skills for Elementary Students
Bully-Countering Skills for Junior High Students
Kids’ Self Defense