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Bullying and Your Children

Updated on June 26, 2010

Children are precious gifts that we value, cherish and love. To know that someone is bullying your child pulls at your heart strings and can give you, as the parent, feelings of anger and helplessness. As parents, it is our job to protect and provide the teachings that will help them to blossom throughout their lives. It is virtually impossible for your child to do this while he is being bullied or even bullying others.

Helping your young one that is being bullied is a challenge and sometimes it seems that you can only stand by idly. What can you do to prevent this from continuing and how can you help your child in the future if other instances arise? Your child may be reluctant to even share with you that he has been bullied; but this is where having an open communication with your child comes in useful. He may feel ashamed and think that he deserved it for one reason or another, but this is never true and he will need your assurance now more than ever to deal with it. Listen carefully, while not blaming your child or criticizing him.

Find out if there were any witnesses can collaborate if it is necessary. Be sure that your child is aware that physical retaliation is not going to solve the problem, but will only make it worse. But do not ever ignore the situation; be sure to deal with it head on. Talk to the school teachers and principals to better understand what is going on. Do not bring your child, just get the details from him and share them with the teacher and/or principal. This lets him to be less fearful the next time if something like that happens again.

Unfortunately bullying can take place not only at school but over the internet as well. If this becomes the case, it is necessary to get the other child's parents informed and involved. Remind the teacher and/or principal that you are both looking for a common ground and to resolve and stop the bullying. Then be sure to keep a line of open communication going with the school staff and your child.

Ways for your child to develop more resiliencies to the bullying would be to get him involved in activities outside of school. This will build up his self-esteem; the activities could be sports, music and of school, have an alternate group of friends. If he continues on, lacking in social skills art or cooking, there is no shortage of interests. Have him associate with other children outside, impulsiveness or a learning disability might be the root of the bullying. If that is the case, see your doctor and get an assessment. Set up time for him to meet with a counselor to discuss what is going on.

On the other hand, if your child is the one doing the bullying, this can be just as disappointing and frustrating. Talk to your child and explain why this is not ok. Ask him to put himself in the shoes of the child that he bullied. Look for root causes that may be triggering this behavior. Is he feeling insecure for any special reason? Look at your home life. Is he seeing a good example being set for kind, respectful and loving interactions with others?

Encourage good behavior by using positive reinforcement. Teach values that encourage him to want to treat peers as he would want to be treated. Changing this behavior may not happen over night, but the sooner it is dealt with, the easier it is for him to turn around his ways. If all else fails, seek the advice of a professional. There may be some not so obvious reasons.

Raising children is a challenge and can have many rewards too. Part of being a parent is instilling values that will not only benefit them throughout their lives, but immediately. Provide your little ones with a good example to follow and a loving home to feel comfortable in. Home life should be a safe haven for any child and if they are provided with that, they will grow, shine and thrive throughout their lives.

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