Bullies are the worst, aren’t they? They can ruin self confidence and make school years absolute hell.
If your children are having issues with bullies, you might want to look into how kids can deal with bullies, so you can help support them as best you can.
How Kids Can Deal With Bullies?
There are many different types pf bullying, from physical to mental, and these days, cyber bullying too.
There are a great many things you can teach your kids to do in order to deal with most types of bullying:
- Make them feel good. Build your kids’ self esteem by telling them all the amazing things about them, so they are better equipped to deal with those who can’t see their great traits.
- Teach them strength. We’re not saying turn them into body builders, but showing them a strong posture and a brave face can work wonders.
- Learn some stock phrases. Things like “Just back off”, when spoken in a strong, confident voice, can help your child deal with potential bullies.
- Keep cool. Getting flustered or reacting is what the bully wants, so make sure they don’t give in to it.
- Form groups. If your kids have a large friendship group, they are less likely to be targeted than a lone wolf. It’s sad, but it’s true!
- Tell the teachers. No one likes a snitch, but if your child is getting bullied at school then a teacher is in the best position to help them.
- Start a campaign. Help your child be proactive against bullies by calling them out, and potentially protecting others from suffering in the future.
How Do You Make An Anti Bullying Campaign?
Bringing bullying out into the open is one of the best ways to deal with it – if it is hidden underground, it can go unnoticed and can continue unchecked.
In order to make an anti bullying campaign, there are a few things you will have to think about – but you can be pretty sure that everyone will be on your side!
- Make sure everyone is represented. It is not only the child who is suffering the bullying that needs to be considered – the bully themselves, peers, teachers and family should all be involved.
- Focus on the positives. Instead of making it an “anti” campaign, make it “pro”. Kindness, acceptance and friendship are what you are aiming for.
- Remember that you’re in it for the long run. In order to be effective, an anti bullying campaign needs to be constant,not just for a few weeks here and there.
- Gather data and information. Talk to the children, the teachers, the parents and the wider community, to get an idea of what you are dealing with.
- Make it inclusive. Remember that bullying can come in many forms, and all of it is unacceptable – take on board all the different ways that bullying can occur.
- Don’t be afraid. Schools need to be held accountable for what goes on inside their walls, so even if uncomfortable conversations need to be had, remember that you are your child’s advocate.
- As with everything, talking about things is absolutely key. Talk to your kids, the school, the neighbourhood – make sure everyone is included.
How Do I Teach My Child To Deal With Teasing?
The first thing you need to do is identify if your child is having issues. Some of them won’t tell you, which is not at all helpful!
Look out for tummy aches, anxiousness, and suddenly not wanting to go to school. These symptoms may need to be gently discussed, until you get to the root of the problem.
Teach your child some useful phrases to make a bully back off – these should not be aggressive or antagonistic, as this can make the problem worse:
- “Go away”
- “Leave me alone”
- “That is not kind”
- “Back off”
- “Whatever, I don’t care”
You can also role play different situations, perhaps using toys as the bully and your child practising their responses.
- Teach your child confident body language. Looking someone directly in the eye and standing square are helpful to deter a bully, as is practising a “brave” face.
- Communicate with your kids. If they are able to talk to you about what is worrying them, you are in a far better position to be able to help them – or at least be a listening ear.
- Build your child’s confidence. Encouraging them to have hobbies that they love, friends they like spending time with, and other things that make them unique will really help.
- Another way of building confidence is to use your words – tell your child all the great things about them and how much you love them. This will do wonders for their self esteem!
- Don’t let the bully win. Showing fear, bursting into tears or worse, starting to believe what they say, is fuel to their fire.
What Age Do Kids Start Bullying Each Other?
Unfortunately, although we imagine bullying being the domain of teenagers, it is trickling down into younger and younger ages too.
Children as young as 2-4 may exhibit aggressive tendencies, like defending their toys and taking others’.
The way a child becomes more ingrained as a bully depends on others’ reactions to this behaviour; if they “win” by getting all the toys consistently then they may continue.
Unfortunately, a herd mentality can start to kick in – if the whole class observes one child being picked on, they might all get involved too.
Boys and girls show different bullying behaviour – boys tend to be more physical, while girls can show more subtle manipulative behaviours.
While bullying is seen as just a part of life, it doesn’t have to be! Model good behaviour to your children, and teach them how to deal with others being unpleasant, and we can start to break the cycle.
Now that you have a better understanding on how to deal with bullies, you can support your kids if they are having issues with unpleasant people.
Just remember to be there for your kids, and always listen to their concerns – and always try to avoid vigilante justice!