Bullying is extremely prevalent in this day and age, especially at school and on the playground. This can be difficult for parents and children to navigate as it can be an extremely bumpy road.
With bullying happening as soon as preschool, it is important that you learn how to bully proof your children as soon as possible. There are plenty of ways you can protect your child from being the victim of bullies and empower children to stop bullying. I’m going to share some of those strategies below.
What Does it Mean to Bully Proof Your Children?
Bully proofing your children means empowering them to eliminate or prevent bullying in their lives. This is accomplished by teaching your children how to change their body language responses from fear to calm. This takes away the reactions that the bullies seek from their targets.
Eliminating the fear is what shuts down the bullies in the short term and helps to protect your children in the future. There are certain tools and techniques that can help children deal with aggressive or intimidating people for the rest of their lives. Using these tools and techniques will help to bully proof your children.
Your child will not only learn to navigate grade school with confidence, but will also have important social skills to combat bullying behavior through high school and into adulthood.
How to Bully Proof Your Child
Encourage open communication – It is important that your children know that they can always talk to you, no matter what happens. When your children know that you are in their corner, they have more confidence.
Talk to your child about difficult situations you’ve had to confront and how you handled them. This helps them understand that the problems they face are common and gives them confidence they can come through them just like you have.
Build their self esteem – When your kids have a high level of self esteem it will be more difficult for the bullies to get to them. Always make sure to do things that help to bolster their self esteem and give them the tools to know their self worth.
Teach them positive affirmations – Teaching your children positive affirmations and how to use them is a great way for them to silently combat bullies. This will reinforce the fact that they are better than what the bullies want them to believe and render the bullies’ words useless.
Some examples of positive affirmations for kids are:
- Every day brings new opportunities.
- I am brave.
- I am unique.
- My family and friends love me for who I am.
- I am thoughtful and kind.
Encourage them to be kind – When a child is experiencing bullying behaviours, kindness can go far. Teach your children to be extremely kind even when a bully confronts them. This will diffuse the bully, catch them off guard and empower your little one.
Plus, kindness is contagious. Teaching your children kindness not only benefits them, but also everyone around them.
Facilitate strong relationships – Spend time facilitating strong relationships between your children and their true friends. This will show your children that they have support systems outside the family and sometimes there is strength in numbers.
Bullies like to isolate their victims and treat them as outcasts. By enforcing the concept of a loyal tribe among your family and your child’s friends, it provides a buffer against the bully’s efforts to portray your child as unloved or unaccepted.
There are several ways to bully proof your children and the sooner you start the better. Always encourage open communication with your children, this will let them know that they have you in their corner.
It is also important to make sure that you build their self esteem, teach them positive reinforcement, encourage them to be kind and facilitate strong relationships with their true friends. Doing these things will give your kids the tools they need to overcome bullying behaviours.