Helping Kids Deal With Bullies.

Bullies can be an absolute nightmare for an adult, much less a child. Bullying can exist in many different forms: It can be physical (pushing, punching, or hitting); verbal (name-calling or threats); or psychological and emotional (spreading rumors or excluding someone from a conversation or activity). Bullying can leave deep emotional scars that take years to fix. It can in extreme cases become violent threats, property damage, or someone getting seriously hurt.

If your child is being bullied, the first thing you want to do as a parent and/or a teacher is to STOP IT!! I cannot stress this more. You can either help your child cope with teasing, bullying, or mean gossip, and lessen its lasting impact or take it up with the school authorities (for parents) or escalate to management (for teachers). And even if bullying isn’t an issue right in your Childs school or classroom right now, it’s important to discuss it so your kids will be prepared if it does happen.

Kids bully for different reasons. Sometimes they pick on kids because they need a victim, someone who seems emotionally or physically weaker, or just acts or appears different in some way so that they can feel more important, popular, or in control.
Sometimes kids torment other kids because that’s the way they’ve been treated. They may think their behavior is normal because they come from families or other settings where everyone regularly gets angry and shouts or calls each other names. (I shout o, but my kids are not bullies.. LOL).

From experience, I have realized that it is hard to know when a child is getting bullied, except they tell you or they have visible bruises or injury. But there are some warning signs that Parents need to look out for:
• Not eating or not doing the things they usually enjoy doing.
• The child having mood swings more than normal.
• When they tend to avoid certain situations like going to school, the mall where they may run into their bullies or even taking the school bus to school
• The child acts differently or seems nervous or anxious
If you suspect bullying but your child is reluctant to open up, find ways to bring up the issue. For instance, you might see a situation on a TV show and ask, “What do you think of this?” or “What do you think that person should have done?” This might lead to questions like: “Have you ever seen this happen?” or “Have you ever experienced this?” You might want to talk about any experiences you or another family member had at that age.
Let your kids know that if they’re being bullied or harassed, or see it happening to someone else — it’s important to talk to someone about it.

Build Your Child’s Confidence: The better your child feels about himself, the less likely the bullying will affect his self-esteem. Encourage hobbies, extracurricular activities, and social situations that bring out the best in your child. Tell your child the unique qualities you love about him and reinforce positive behaviors that you’d like to see more.
As parents, we have a tendency to focus on negative situations, but kids actually listen better when their good behaviors are reinforced. Honoring kids’ strengths and encouraging healthy connections with others can affect self-esteem, increase your kids’ long-term confidence, and prevent any potential bullying situations.
Teach the Right Way to React
Children must understand that bullies have a need for power and control over others and a desire to hurt people. They often lack self-control, empathy, and sensitivity. With that said, it’s helpful for children to use these strategies when dealing with bullies:
• Don’t let a bully make you feel bad. When someone says something bad about you, say something positive to yourself. Remind yourself of your positive attributes.
• Tell the bully how you feel, why you feel the way you do, and what you want the bully to do. Learn to do this with a calm and determined voice. Say, for example, “I feel angry when you call me names because I have a real name. I want you to start calling me by my real name.”
• Don’t reward the bully with tears. The bully wants to hurt your feelings, so act like his name-calling and taunts don’t hurt. You can do this by admitting the bully is right. For example, when the bully calls you “fatty,” look him in the eye and say calmly, “You know, I do need to start getting more exercise.” Then walk off with confidence.
• Disarm the bully with humor. Laugh at his threats and walk away from him.
• Use your best judgment, and follow your instincts. If the bully wants your homework, and you think he is about to hurt you, give him your work and walk off with confidence. Then tell an adult what happened.
• Don’t expect to be mistreated. When walking toward a group of children, think of them as being nice to you, and do your best to be friendly. Most important, treat others the way you want to be treated. Stand up for other students who are bullied, and ask them to stand up for you.
Take Action to Stop Bullying
Ultimately, it’s up to parents and teachers to help young children deal with a bully. To be honest, personally, I am not one to tell my kids not to defend themselves. I always tell my kids to stand up to bullies. Bullies tend to feed off the fear they get from their victims. They bully even more when kids don’t stand up for themselves. That being said, Help him learn how to make smart choices and take action when he feels hurt or sees another child being bullied, and be ready to intervene if necessary.
Report Bullying immediately!
Do not Wait until bullying has become repeated or severe, If your child or student is reluctant to report the bullying, go with him to talk to a teacher, guidance counselor, principal, or school administrator. Learn about the school’s policy on bullying, document instances of bullying and keep records, and stay on top of the situation by following up with the school to see what actions are being taken. When necessary, get help from others outside of school, like a family therapist or a police officer, and take advantage of community resources that can deal with and stop bullying.

Best wishes,

The Teachers Web Team

Knowing Is Not Enough; We Must Apply. Wishing Is Not Enough; We Must Do.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
This quote reminds us to apply what we learn and take action toward success, rather than waiting and hoping.