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5 ways to help children deal with bullies compassionately

Today’s blog is a guest post from Jackie Edwards. After taking a career sabbatical to become a mother, Jackie now writes full-time on topics ranging from health and wellness, right through to news and current affairs. She has, in the past battled problems with anxiety and panic, and in her spare time she volunteers for a number of local charities that support people with mental health issues

5 ways to help children deal with bullies compassionately

Anti-Bullying Strategies To Empower Your Child 

In your eyes, that kid who’s bullying your child is an insecure little person. To your child, he’s a monster. He steals your child’s lunch money, insults him and breaks his confidence. According to The New Paper in Singapore, one in five primary school students has been bullied. As a parent, your job is to help your child empower him or herself against bullies because honestly, telling them to ignore the bullies just doesn’t work anymore. Here are better things you can do.

Keep Your Ears Opened 

Some bullied children won’t tell their parents about what’s going on because they feel embarrassed or scared the information will reach their teachers, making the bullying worse. But if your child has opened up to you about being a victim of bullying, praise him or her for taking this difficult step. Listen to what’s happening to them. Just talking to you about being bullied will offer comfort and strength that your kid needs to face the bullies. It also reminds them they’re not alone.

Tell Them To Ignore The Comments, Not The Bully 

Ignoring the bully could make the bullying worse because the bully might try to find new ways to hurt your child or get their attention. A good tip for children when dealing with bullies is to tell the bully “I want you to stop” and walk away. That way, they acknowledge and confront the bad behavior but act assertive instead of wounded. If a bully sees they’re frightened or upset, this makes them more likely to tease them again. Setting this boundary is usually enough to keep school bullies at bay.

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Help Your Child Be Less Of A Target 

Bullies prey on kids who are powerless in their eyes. This could be a child who experiences challenges when it comes to social interaction, someone who doesn’t have friends or lacks confidence. If your child struggles with any issues, help them work through them, either alone or with a therapist. It’s also good to encourage your kids to make friends – there’s power in numbers.

Encourage Them To Make Fun Of The Teasing

Making fun of the bully is a bad move, especially if the bully is violent, and it also encourages your child to hurt other kids which isn’t healthy. Instead of teasing the bully, your child should question the teasing. Fred Frankel, author of ‘Good Friends Are Hard To Find‘ states that when a bully criticizes a child, the child should reply with a question such as “really?” or “so?”. It shows the bully that they’re rising above the hurtful comments, which usually gets the bully to stop. 

If these tactics don’t stop the bullying, it’s a must to get the school in on what’s going on, with the greater goal of eliminating the horrible experience of bullying from children’s lives.

Bullying is stressful for kids and for parents to imagine that their kids are a target. However, there are many skills you can teach your child to prevent them from becoming a victim as well as to confront the bullies in healthy and compassionate ways.

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Craig Kemp

Craig Kemp

I am a passionate Head of Educational Technology at a large International School in Singapore. I am a lifelong learner, dream creator and thought leader. I love to inspire others and find inspiration. Co-founder of #whatisschool, #asiaED edchats and #pubPD.

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