Teach Them About Bullies

A few years ago, meanness was only supposed to start somewhere in middle grade. Today, however, it starts as soon as your kid steps into kindergarten. I grew out of the thinking that all early school kids are nice, warm and lovely when my kid came home with an injured lip. A smaller child had thrown him against the wall. And that is when I decided to look up a few skills that parents can teach their children about bullying. But tell you what; I was not worried that my kid was being bullied at school. I was more worried that he would himself turn into a bully, and then I would have a compounded problem on my hands.


So how do you teach your kids about bullying? How can you prevent them from being bullies?


Here are a few tips that I gathered for parents like me:


Do not tell your child to fight back

Do not tell your child to fight back

Ok, I know us the baby boomer children were taught to stand up for ourselves and fight like men. However, this is the 21st century and it is very dangerous to make your child fight back. If you do that, you will have compounded problems. Instead, tell the child to know who bullied him or her and report to you, or to the teacher.


Report to the school authorities


Preschool teachers are trained very well, to handle all manner of volatile situations in class. If your child has experienced bullying in school, let the school authorities know. Let the teachers know who bullied who, what they did or said, and the school will solve that.


To walk away from trouble


Teach your child how to identify bullies and stay away from them. You are not teaching the kid to be a coward. Rather, like the Kenny Rodgers’ song Coward of the county, you are teaching the kid to know that not every battle is worth fighting.  


Also, teach the child to report the bully to the teachers or any other adult. One thing that makes bullies flourish is when no one stands up to them. However, standing up to someone does not mean getting physical.


Let the parents of the bully know


Sometimes, even the parents of the culprits are not aware that their child is a bully. Call them, describe what happened and the steps that you took. The school authorities will call the parents of the bully kid too. Most importantly, you will be looking for an opportunity to make amends with them. If they appear willing to work with you, you can come with a way forward to ensure that your child is not bullied anymore. You have to make the approach right though.


Control your child

boy yelling to a girl

Maybe your child is the bully. You can know this by the calls you will get from the teachers, and from other parents as well. It is also important to note any undue bullying tendencies from a tender age. If your kid bullies her siblings, is very aggressive with pets, very possessive with his items, those are signs of a bully. Start giving him attention, start teaching him how to respect others so he can be respected. Above all, every child should learn that there are consequences for every action.


Teach your children not to be intimidated


If your child is being bullied, teach him to speak out, to look the bully in the eye and say, “don’t you dare hit me!” in a loud voice. Bullies hate attention. Teach your kid to also stand up for others. When one kid comes to the rescue of another from a bully, that shows empathy, and of course, two are better than one.

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