Helping Kids Protect Themselves from Bullying

Helping Kids Protect Themselves from Bullying

All too often we hear in the news of tragic events involving kids who have been bullied. This week we will review a few specific recommendations that Love and Logic has developed for helping parents respond with empathy and compassion while helping their kids develop the skills required to protect themselves from bullies. Although the reality about bullying is that we have limited control over the world and how our children are treated by it, we can help our kids face the challenges of bullying and make them stronger in the process.

When our children are hurting from bullying, the most important thing we can do is listen with empathy, allowing them to express their full range of emotions. This can be difficult when we are also flooded with feelings over the issue. Remember that listening means making the conversation about our child’s feelings, not ours. Isn’t it true that when we know how much other people care, it makes the struggles we are facing seem more manageable?

Empower them with the belief that they can cope
Down deep, children feel empowered when we ask, “What do you think you might do to solve this problem?” Although they might lack answers to this question, asking it demonstrates that we believe in their abilities.

Give them some practical experiments
Learning to effectively deal with bullies hinges on our child’s ability to remain calm, or even use a bit of humor, when the bully tries to upset or provoke them. Helping them understand that plenty of trials and errors are usually required. You can provide “experiments” by saying the following:

“Some people (or kids) decide to experiment with _______.
How will that work for you?”

Love and Logic places a heavy emphasis on empowering children to become victors rather than victims early in life. People who learn how to handle bullying when they are kids will be much better equipped to handle bullies that they will occasionally encounter as adults.

Rescue when necessary
We must rescue our children when they experience bullying so severe that it overwhelms their ability to cope physically or emotionally. That’s what good parents do. It’s good to keep in mind that unnecessary rescuing creates kids who don’t know how to handle bullying and thus they can become more popular targets for bullies. However, parents must intervene when necessary.

You can find more Love and Logic guidelines about how to help your kid learn how to handle bullying in our eBook, Bullying: When Your Child Is The Target.


Thanks for reading!

Dr. Charles Fay

Bullying: When Your Child is the Target

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