Transforming a child’s bedroom into a safe haven for them to play and grow is a rewarding experience for parents. But what happens when the little ones go to school and face dangers that parents cannot prevent? The reality for our children is that they will likely be bullied at some point in their life, whether it occurs in school, face-to-face or online.
National studies in bullying show that nearly half of young children in the UK are bullied, which leads to loneliness, low self-esteem, and poor concentration in school. If you are a parent hoping to protect your child from bullying, here are some ways children can confront bullies with compassion.
Share Your Own Experiences
Whilst school bullies or cyber bullies can be terrifying for a child, they will ultimately feel better equipped to handle the situation if they know that you have gone through a similar issue. Sharing your personal experiences with bullying will show your child that they are not alone. By normalising what’s happening to them, they will gain confidence to help resolve the problem.
Explain a Bully’s Reasons
It is crucial to teach children that bullies are not necessarily bad people. Even though the bully is mean and does spiteful things, it does not represent the deeper roots of such cruel behaviour. Explaining why a bully might be picking on your child will help them to see both sides of the story. This way, your child can develop empathy for people who are hurting and understand that many bullies are seriously unhappy.
Strategies To Deal With The Bully
Your child should never feel scared to go to school, so you should teach them certain strategies to make the bullying stop. Demonstrate how to speak in a firm and authoritative voice, just like a teacher or police officer would.
Encourage your child to stand up for his or herself, or to tell an adult when the bullying takes place. By confronting the bully with authority, your child will be able to handle the situation and hopefully put an end to it entirely.
Written by Jackie Edwards, mother of two, editor and writer.