Bullying is more common than you think. It is no doubt a serious problem among school-aged children that involves real or perceived power imbalance. Acts of bullying can range from teasing, coercion, non-inclusion, public humiliation, and even physical aggression.
Unfortunately, bullying is something any child will probably encounter at least once in his life. There will always be bullying and they will encounter this power imbalance not just in school but also when your kids grow up and become adults. There are bullies in the office, in malls, in restrooms, practically anywhere.
The best thing you can do for your child is to teach him how to deal with bullies. Empower him against them and ensure that he can take care of himself regardless of the situation he’s placed in.
Here are 5 proven ways you can help your child build confidence over bullies:
1. Develop good compassionate relationship with your child
Having a good relationship with your child will help him develop the self-esteem that he needs so he could stand up to bullies. It is difficult for bullies to put down a confident, self assured child. Also, having a strong relationship with your child will let you know if anyone bullies him allowing you to guide him through it.
2. Role play different scenarios
Whether your child has experienced bullying in the past or not, it is good to play out scenarios to show him how to deal with a bully. Bullies derive pleasure from their effect on people they are bullying.
Teach your child phrases he can say towards these bullies and teach them how to fight without resorting to physically or verbally hurting another kid. Remind your child to never resort to the same behavior of the bully just to shut him down.
3. Teach your child how to assert himself
Learning how to assert oneself will go a long way in helping him deal with bullies. Remind your child that being assertive means being confident and firm. Being assertive doesn't mean being rude and insulting.
Teach him assertive body language as well as maintaining eye contact, speaking calmly with a steady voice, standing tall, and addressing the other kid by his name.
4. Teach your child to ask for help
There will be times when your child needs to learn how to remove himself from such scenario by asking someone to intervene. Make sure to help your child understand that it’s okay for him to ask help and it’s not a sign of cowardice. Talk to him about possible scenarios when he should definitely ask for help from someone.
5. Teach your child to intervene when others are being bullied.
You’re not just teaching your child how to address bullying, you should also teach them how to not tolerate any form of it. Being vigilant about preventing bullying should not be tolerated no matter who is being bullied.
Teach your child to intervene and approach other kids who are being bullied. This can simply mean talking to the bullied child and taking him away from the aggressor. Again, stress the importance of asking help if necessary.