Dealing with bullies
Every parent dreads hearing that their child is fearful or uneasy about a situation. Children around the world are constantly reporting instances where they are feeling inadequate or unsafe in the presence of a peer. Bullying is an issue that has yielded fatal results when handled ineffectively.
While it is every parent’s wish to protect their child, most encounters with bullies go unreported. It is critical that children are prepared to deal with bullying and understand exactly what bullying is. LaTonya Dixon, an educator with Le Bonheur Community Health and Well-being, shares some tips parents can gives kids who are faced with bullying.
- Remain calm and make direct eye contact with the bully. Tell them to STOP in a calm and clear voice. Use a sense of humor if their personality permits, by laughing the bully off. It usually catches the bully off guard!
- If speaking up is unsafe or the bully makes threats, WALK AWAY and STAY AWAY. Often trying to fight back can lead to other unwanted bullying or harm.
- Tell an adult you trust. Don’t hide your feelings. When you tell someone, you can create a plan to stop the bullying from happening again.
- Stay away from places where the bully is more likely to attack. Most bullies like to steer clear of adult supervision or areas where they know they are being monitored by others.
Sadly bullies are often victims of bullying themselves. Remember that no one likes to feel afraid or unsafe. While bullying is more and more common, it does not mean it should be dismissed. Remember to report bullying to an adult, or someone in authority, and you will be surprised at the outcome. Not only could you be helping yourself and other victims, the bully could also receive attention and help he or she needs.