On a daily basis, most children have to deal with bullies in one way or the other. It is not normal, but it is quite common. In fact, even you might’ve had to face a similar issue at some point in your life.
The difference between when you had to deal with it is that now, there is such a thing as cyberbullying. It consists of verbally demeaning attacks from people on the internet. It might not have the same physical consequences as getting punched by a bully. But, it can be very emotionally damaging.
Regardless of what form of bullying your child is going through, it is your duty as a parent to help them deal with it. Unfortunately, going to talk to the bully yourself might worsen the situation as you wouldn’t always be there to protect your child. In the same vein, teaching your child violence isn’t the best way to go about the issue. However, there are still a couple of ways to deal with your child getting bullied. They are:
1. Be proactive
Especially when your kid is joining a new school or is new at a particular place filled with other children, you’ll want to be proactive. That is, have a conversation with your kid on the subject even before they complain to you that they are getting bullied. This would help your child to know what to do if the situation arises. If done right, the bully might be worn down enough in that one conversation with your kid to know that they shouldn’t bother him/her.
2. Do a bit of roleplaying
When your child comes to you about a bully, you could use roleplay to teach them what to do. You could act as the bully and try to pick on them, and they would act as themselves. This would help create a simulation of sorts that would help you understand your child’s natural reaction to bullying. In turn, you can make adjustments where necessary.
3. Encourage assertion and bravery
Most of the time, a bully wants to show that they are the dominant personality. As such, if they sense fear in you, they will capitalize on it and try to make it grow. This will then lead to a scenario where your child’s fear becomes his/her worst enemy. So, teach your child to be brave. If you are roleplaying, for example, emphasize the importance of looking directly into a bully’s eyes to throw them off guard.
4. Practice responses
Bullies often look for reactions and responses to promote their actions. So, teach your child a number of ways to respond to a bully. If they aren’t getting assaulted physically, teach your child to simply walk away whenever they can.
5. Report to higher authorities
There are times that the above methods might be just a drop in the ocean. If that is the case, report to those who can efficiently handle the bully. It usually happens in school. So, you can report the bully to the school authorities. The difference between that and you interfering directly is that unlike you, the school authorities will always be there to protect your child and deal with bullies.
Helping your child to deal with bullies without being directly involved can be a bit of a hassle sometimes. Thankfully, these tips can help you do it effectively. However, if the situation becomes too severe, and it is threatening your child’s safety, it might be a better option to pull your child out of the establishment.