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In every situation there is an opportunity for a child to be bullied.
I know this from my own childhood. Not that I think I was bullied, but I did see it in most every group or activity I was involved in. Whether it was school, church, library, etc,... There was inevitably another child who wanted to pick on someone. I was usually able to keep my distance and avoid hateful comments... or sometimes the "blank stare" back at the bullying child worked well - for me.
Quite frankly, some of the most quiet students in school were good bullies - whether the teacher noticed it or not.
How do you help your children deal with bullies, or perhaps stop them from bullying?
I cannot say that I have had a lot of experience in talking to my children about bullying, being that our oldest will start kindergarten next week. However, we had already started to prepare him for life in public school by simply making him aware of what bullying is and how that makes the child being bullied feel.
We talk to our son about the importance of character and integrity and how bullying destroys both of those things. I am open to hearing how other moms have talked to their children about bullying. Great topic discussion, Tiffany!
Unfortunately, there isn't a special way to handle bullying. I'm actually kind of old school, and tell my daughter what I was told: Let your teacher or principal know what is going on, and you also have a right to defend yourself.
I was one of those kids that was nice to everyone, talked to everyone...and other kids saw my kindness as weakness and figured I could be bullied. If they tried to hurt me with words, I always had a wise crack to hit them with. If they threatened me on my way home from school and invaded my personal space or attacked me...I defended myself.
There was a kid who was always calling my daughter stupid, and would get in her face. I told her next time he did it...tell him his breath is stupid- and she did....after being laughed at by the other kids when she made her remark, he never picked on her again.
It's sad to say that we live in a world where some kids are a-holes, and it isn't their fault. But sometimes the only way to deal with an A-hole is be an A-hole right back. We talk about the effects of bullying, and we have watched plenty of documentaries of what happens to kids who are bullied...and it's important that kids know that it isn't acceptable.
My methods may not work for everyone, but they worked for me, and they seem to be working for my daughter- she's in her 5th year of school and we haven't had any incidents that weren't resolved quickly ( and they didn't reoccur). I'm a firm believer that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent, and every person has a right to stand up to someone who is bullying them.
My girls will be starting preschool and first grade this year so we have yet to experience bullying yet. However, I think that instilling confidence in your children is a great way to protect them from bullying. If your children have confidence in themselves and good self-esteem, they may be bullied but it won't affect them as hard. Take this from a person who was bullied in school yet had enough confidence in herself to just shake it off most of the time! ~Jamie
One thing to keep in mind is in most states bulling is against the law, no matter where it is happening.
My youngest two sons tend to get picked on a lot, more last year when we first moved here. I spoke with teachers, principals bus drivers and still got hardly anywhere until I did say I was going to contact the law enforcement. Then they started taking it seriously.
I do think that we as parents need to step up and make sure the proper channels are being used we are the ones who have to take care of our kids and speak up for them when no one is listening or they are afraid to.