Thursday, October 31, 2013

Preventing Your Child From Becoming a Bully #bullyprevention #bullying #bully

As parents, we all would like to believe that our child will not become a bully.  But in reality, there is a great chance that any child can become a bully.  However, there are certain things you can do to lessen the likelihood that your child will have bully behaviors.  Here are a few tips to help:
  • Build a relationship with your child when they are young.  Daily, talk about their day, their friends and their interactions with others.  This paves the way for good communication with them when they are older and to interject advice on how to handle situations.
  • Don't allow name-calling, physical aggression or mean behavior.  When these occur, make sure you have appropriate consequences, including an apology.
  • Teach compassion.  When siblings are arguing, try to get them to see how the other might feel.  When watching TV shows or movies, encourage conversations about how various characters might feel.  When you see a news story where someone is hurt, ask them how the injured person might feel.  Volunteer to help the homeless or the poor.  Let them see first hand how difficult life can be for others.
  • Prohibit violent video games.  These games encourage inflicting pain on others (even if imaginary characters) without understanding consequences of actions in real life.
  • Encourage positive music.  What we put into our minds sticks.  Need ideas? plays great music that kids love with all positive messages.
  • Constantly have talks with them about respecting others.  And live it.  Are you mean to a store clerk who rang you up wrong?  Do you scream at the guy who cut you off?  Do you talk about other people in a negative way in front of your children?  Do you have intolerance for people who are different?  If yes, you are teaching your children these behaviors.  Clean it up!
  • Explain the difference between teasing and joking and bullying.  If someone is telling a joke, the other person should be laughing (or groaning because it is a bad joke).  "Joking" or "teasing" about a person is usually bullying.
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  • Show kindness to others, even those who have hurt you.  Regardless of what someone has done, you can be respectful to them.
  • Respect authority.  If your child has a problem at school, be respectful.  Don't bad-mouth teachers and administration in front of your children.  If you have a difference of opinion, it might be good to keep it to yourself and not share with your child.  Otherwise, your child learns to disrespect those in authority.
  • Don't give your child every single thing they want.  Instead, give them the gift of time and love.  That all kids really need, anyway.  By giving them everything they want, they may begin to feel entitled.  When an entitled child (or adult) doesn't get their way, they think it is okay to do what it takes to get it.  This can often lead to bullying.
  • When your kids talk to you about conflicts with peers, don't take your child's issues personally.  Don't get visibly upset about petty things that others may do.  This only makes a mountain out of a molehill for your child.  Instead, stay calm and help your to come up with strategies to deal with the situation.  Never degrade the other child and teach your child that regardless of what the other child does to them, it is important to still be respectful.
  • Teach them to defend the weak.  
  • Teach them to do what is right, even if they are afraid.
  • Explain to them that if someone in their group is bullying someone else and they try to stop it or don't walk away, they are being a bully as well.
  • Teach them to always be inclusive of others, even if they don't want to.
Children have many negative influences in our society that encourage bullying.  TV shows and movies often ridicule of or put down others for fun.  Political ads often (more like always) cut someone else down.  Congressmen bash other congressmen.  With all these negative influences, we need to have conversations daily with our children on how to treat others.

1 comment:

Remus said...

My daughter was bullied in middle school....and the effects have been long-lasting

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