As your child starts school this month, remember that although every school has a zero tolerance policy for bullies, that doesn’t prevent the act from taking place and your child from being hurt physically or emotionally.
You can help. Be prepared and prepare your child. It isn’t about power, it is about empowerment!
This is one of the most important things we at Trautwein’s ATA try to impress upon our students. The smallest and weakest of us can ward off the tough guy with preparation and self-esteem. And the toughest of us can be respectful rather than forceful.
Here are a few tips:
That may sound silly to you, but there is a difference between being a bully and being a parent. Respect your child. Don’t enforce the rules with an iron fist because that fist will prepare your child to either be meek or use the same fist on someone else, either literally or figuratively. Don’t yell or berate – choose your words carefully. Remember, children learn from example.
Lonely kids get bullied more frequently and are easy targets. Remember to enrich your relationship with your child and learn to become in tune with their emotions. Check in with them and find out what’s going on in their hearts and minds!
As parents, we should lead by example. How many of us have eaten cold food or have put up with rudeness because we were afraid to speak up? We must teach our children the difference between being assertive and being rude. Showing your child that you will speak up when you’re not satisfied with a situation speaks volumes over just telling them what they should do. Even if your child is the one misbehaving, don’t put them down. Be confident and decisive with your words to express that what they’re doing is unacceptable, not the children themselves. It is often easy for kids to be confused as to whether you’re upset at them or the behavior.
There are a few tricks you can teach your child that experts feel work the best:
If a child is perceived as being “weird” or “different” he or she is more likely to be picked on. Explain to your child that interaction with other kids is important. Join the others at lunch; play with others on the playground. Be involved. If he/she is involved, friends will also come to your child’s aid if they see him/her being bullied!
We’ll be back next time with some more tips on how to bully-proof your child. Till then, remember that Trautwein’s ATA is committed to your child’s safety, self-esteem and happiness!
Special thanks: Aha! Parenting