Believe it or not, most kids never report getting bullied. Not to their parents and not to their school. So what’s a parent to do? Take control of the situation before it gets to be a problem by becoming your child’s bully coach!
This week I will be offering you 5 steps for becoming your child’s bully coach.
STEP ONE: Have a conversation about bullying with your child
Kids don’t report getting bullied for lots of reasons but the biggest reason may be the saddest: targets of bullying almost always blame themselves. Parents should bring up the subject of bullying by making it crystal clear that NO ONE deserves to be bullied, no matter how imperfect or flawed they may be. Not even bullies deserve to be bullied.
One of the best ways to teach your child not to blame themselves is to point out a universal truth: bullies do what they do because it makes them feel good. And anyone who takes pleasure out of being mean to another person deserves our pity. Because taking joy from hurting someone else is as low as you can go as a human being, and anyone who does that must be very, very damaged on the inside.
Casting the bully in the light of someone people should feel sorry for lets a child begin to think of the bully as the one who has a major problem, not them. This realization does two things: first, it helps kids to stop responding in an angry or upset way, which is the kind of reaction bullies thrive on, and secondly, it makes room in your child’s brain to start viewing the bullying in a dispassionate, intellectual way. Reaching this stage of the game is literally half the battle.
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