How Parents Can Help Kids Spot and Stop Bullying
One of my biggest fears as a parent has always been bullies. As a shy introvert who often suffered in silence, I’m worried that one day, my daughter will inherit those traits and not share if she’s being bothered or bullied. Fortunately, I have the opportunity to change things I didn’t experience as a child. As a parent, I can give my daughter the tools and resources to face the challenges and come out stronger.
I often forget that children and stronger and more resilient than we, the parents, give them credit for. With the right support system, they can overcome any obstacle, even bullying. Below are four ways parents can help kids spot and stop bullying.
Create an open line of communication
As a mom of a 9-year-old, I’m constantly working on creating a safe and welcoming space for my daughter to ensure my daughter feels comfortable approaching me. While parents can’t completely stop bullying, we can create an open line of communication for our kids to approach us when things feel less than normal.
When you create this safe space, you encourage your child to come to your with any issue, no matter how big or small, making you aware of what they might be going through.
When a child is confident, they’re more likely to believe in themselves and stand up for what they believe in. When it comes to standing up to bullies, this trait is key. Contrary to what others may believe, confidence is not something we’re born with. Instead, it’s something we must constantly work on to build a stronger muscle.
By working on your child’s confidence, you allow them to stand up for themselves (or others) without needing you there to do it for them. This is essential because the likelihood that you won’t be there to protect them is very high.
Encourage speaking up
Speaking up isn’t always easy, especially if it’s against someone who is bullying and putting others down in the process. Many things that can hold kids back from speaking up against bullies, whether it’s the fear of being retaliated against or the uncertainty of how it’ll affect their current relationships, this step can often be the hardest for a child.
When they’re hesitancy in speaking up, remind your child that by doing so, they’re not only doing good on themselves, they’re also making a difference in the lives of all the other individuals that bully might be trying to attack as well.
For more resources and information on bullying, visit www.stopbullying.gov.