7 Ways to Bully Proof Your Child
As the beginning of the school year nears and excitement sets in for our young ones so too does a sense of fear for many children and teenagers. The fear of going back to school met with meeting new people and also the dreaded thought process ‘what if they don’t like me?”
What if I don’t fit in? What if I sit by myself? What if I don’t have the right shoes, lunchbox, school bag or stationary item? What if someone is mean to me? Will I be judged?
Sadly, this is what kids think about and also many parents too. This thought process of expectation and worry creates anxiety and stress. So, what is the answer ‘do we go and buy them all the things they need to feel cool?’ Or ‘do we teach them the strategies to feel and become strong and resilient for themselves?” Of course we show them how to fight fears of worry, show them how to never doubt themselves and give them a sense of personal confidence.
We learn these confidence factors through discovery of self and through learning about our abilities using safe adventure or living strategies. We must help our kids and youth develop a sense of personal dependence and resilience for failure so they can try and try again. Confidence and resilience are key to our mind set development. We never fail; we learn how to try again until we are successful b.x By learning personal success; we learn personal confidence thus being able to stand up for ourselves with self-assurance. We are only affected by the thoughts or words of others when our confidence is low or when our resilience is weak; we feel like we can’t cope.
FACT: Bullying is a learnt behavior – it is learnt through seeing; hearing an older or admired person doing it to another person. Bullying is using words or actions to harm another. It may be shown through control or power. This behavior has to be seen regularly and viewed as the correct way to treat others for it to be learnt. Unfortunately it is often praised or seen as normal in some situations. This forceful behaviour of power or control repeated is unfortunately seen regularly in homes and within our community for some children. The only way we can fix it, is to remove these behaviours and show respect for all. We must think before we speak about another person always.
7 Ways to Bully Proof Your Child:
- Teach them to say NO! and the only way this can happen is if we the parent say NO to the kids in the first place.
- Teach your child to say ‘STOP IT! I don’t like it and walk away’ Fighting is never acceptable.
- Teach your child to let words wash over them by showing them strategies of how to focus on moving from the situation and teaching them that others sometimes have not been taught respect.
- Teach respect and manners for all human kind by not allowing bullying in our homes eg. An older sibling bullying to a younger sibling. This is also evident in social media – where a person may write or discuss a comment or make comment on a certain aspect that annoyed them in front of children. The child then seeing the adult or teen using cyber-bullying to present a position of power or control over another.
- Teach children strategies of confidence and safe risk-taking – use the outdoor and fun activities to allow the child to make a mistake and then through practice become successful for themselves. Eg. Rock climbing; pumping up a ball; moving a large object; building; chores; dropping a plate and cleaning it up; any normal task that a mistake could be made but an important lesson learnt.
- Teach the game of ‘holding strong when being chased’ How to play : Complete a set of running efforts; the adult start behind and chases; allow the child to feel the rush of the chase behind them. Talk to them about not looking back and also about breathing and focusing on their own step forward. Be positive but also through a curve ball and change it up.
‘Find your focus in the fear of the chase’ b.x
b.truth: I play this game regularly with the kids and I’m a bit harsh and I heckle them sometimes seeing if they faultier but with this practice they are getting better and becoming more focused and certain of their abilities every single time. These are the key facts that help kids confidence. Safe resilience building and real strategies these skills create bully proof kids.
- Empower our children with outdoor active health activities that they can achieve at regulary. Simple chores and tasks that teach developmental skills or lifestyle habits.
I hope these strategies have helped and they can give confidence to one child this year. I only hope every young person can have a year filled with health, happiness and bright future development.
Health and Happiness always,