Are your children Bully Proof?
Before we go over ways to Bully Proof your children, it is important to know the difference between bullying and kids picking on each other.
Either way, we want to arm your kids with tips to help them get through the struggles of life.
BULLYING is often a consistent attack physically or verbally on another person. The bully usually looks for the same victims on a regular basis. The majority of bulling is verbal as opposed to physical. Unfortunately, the verbal form of bullying tends to be more hurtful long term. Physical bullying usually comes in forms of pushing, tripping, throwing things, but can escalate.
PICKING tends to be more playful and usually is random. Kids might be in a group and pick on each other or sometimes team up to target a particular child in the group. Picking can also be physical, but usually does not have a harmful intent as opposed to bullying. Although “picking” is less severe, it can still be very hurtful mentally and physically.
How do you help your child when they are being bullied?
- First, remain calm and find out as many details as possible. Make sure your child knows you are proud they spoke up. Most likely they are feeling embarrassed and think there is something wrong with them. Getting emotional in front of them, threatening to call the school, facility or another child’s parent is not going to be a solution. You will only make things worse and your child will probably not want to discuss their troubles/challenges with you in the future.
- Verbal Bullying is rough. Your child needs to speak up and tell them to “stop.” Easier said than done, right? Roll playing helps if you make it fun and low pressure. Be warned, kids usually do not like role playing exercises, that is why we suggest you make it fun. Do the best you can to keep your emotions and parental claws retracted!
- See if you can reach out to some of your child’s friends parents. Tell them what is going on and see if their child can keep their eyes/ears open and look out for each other. A lot of times having others step in and stick up for your child will be the most impactful. Bullies thrive on attention from others. If they see their peers laughing when they attack, it makes them want to bully more.
- Find your child an older mentor, but not necessarily an adult. For example, if your child is in middle school, see if you know any high school kids that would be a good role model and talk with them. Kids need positive, strong mentors for advice, not just parents. Sometimes an older brother or sister can be a great source depending on their relationship with their sibling. Sorry, parents cannot be mentors!
- If necessary, enroll your child into martial art lessons. Most martial art instructors make great mentors , teach life skills along with self-defense and will even eat lunch with your child or visit their classroom.
- Last, talk with your child’s teachers and administrators in a “CALM” manner. If you come into the discussion on fire and mad, most likely they are going to focus more on how hard it was to talk with you, instead of a solution. Go into the meeting with questions and ask for suggestions. Let the administrators share their knowledge and get them on your side. The main purpose of the meeting, get them aware of the problem and see what a nice person you are so they want to help you. If you don’t see any results after a meeting or two, then it is ok to show your claws!
Try these tips and see what type of progress you make. Don’t expect an overnight fix, but you should see some results.
Have more questions? Feel free to contact me. My information is below!
If you are interested in contacting Brad Fantle for speaking engagements you may reach him by email at email@example.com. He is a 7th Degree Black Belt with Tiger Rock Martial Arts, has 25 years experience working with children and teaching self-defense, an Optavia Health Coach and has a BA in Sports & Fitness from the University of Alabama.