Perhaps it is the time of year, or just more aftershocks from the past two years, but we have had more calls than usual about bullying. Parents want to know how to help their kids when they are bullied. Because bullying doesn’t stop when kids become adults, the Love and Logic approach is to give kids the tools they need to address bullies throughout their lives. The most powerful tool we can give our kids is emotional strength.
Bullying hurts. It hurts our kids, and we hurt for them. We want it to stop right now. We wish we could rid the world of such hateful behavior. In some situations, intervening and protecting is the right thing to do. If our children’s life and limb are in jeopardy, or if excessive bullying is causing severe anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues, then parents need to intervene.
What’s a realistic solution for dealing with the usual bullying that kids face? Is it to spend the lion’s share of our time and energy trying to create a completely bullying-free world? Would our time and other resources create a bigger impact if they were applied to help kids develop the skills and emotional strength required to cope with bullying?
The Love and Logic Approach
What would happen if more young people knew how to peacefully strip bullies of their unhealthy power? How do we move in this direction when our kids, who we know and love, get bullied?
- Listen to the bullied child with sincere empathy
- Get the child’s perspective on solutions
- Resist the urge to own the bullying
- Ask permission to share some solutions with the child
- Share some sensible experiments with the child if the child allows
Who Does Bullying Affect?
Bullying affects not only the person who is being bullied—it also affects those who bully and those who witness bullying. Kids who are bullied are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, health complaints, and decreased academic achievement. Those who bully are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs, get into fights, and have criminal convictions as adults. Witnesses to bullying are more likely to increase tobacco, alcohol, and drugs; experience increased mental health problems; and miss or skip school.
Kids who are Strong Enough to Handle a Tough World
It all comes down to recognizing that we cannot create a world free of stress and conflict for our children. No matter how much we protect them, they will eventually face a world full of difficult, even dangerous, people—a world where rescue is not always possible. Helping them at an early age to develop the skills and emotional strength necessary to handle bullying will help them throughout their lives.
One of our popular titles, Bullying: When Your Child Is The Target is a streaming eBook that contains a wealth of information that can help you help your kids when they are being bullied. Start off the New Year by giving your children the tools they will need to address bullying for the rest of their lives!
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