Talk in Specifics
Bullying prevention is nothing new. The idea has been broadcasted nationwide and drilled into children’s minds for decades.
Because of this familiarity, it’s critical to avoid cliches or generalizations. In other words, give your child real-life examples of bullying. And in real time, too.
When your child can anchor onto the specifics of a bullying scenario in an organic way, it can be that much-needed “aha” moment.
Redirect Your Child into a Leadership Role
Why do bullies keep bullying? Or, what reinforces their behavior?
Having power, feeling strong, taking dominance are just a few feelings on which bullies thrive. Actually, we all do.
Humans, in general, have an ambitious energy to be top dog. Bullying prevention means acknowledging this characteristic. Then, transforming your child’s energy into being a leader rather than a bully.
Talk about morality… which is the next point.
Remove the External Pronouns
Morality is an internal code of ethics adopted by a single person, family, or an entire society. To be moral, you must look inside, taking responsibility for your role in life.
Children have a tendency to blame others. “They made me upset!”
By teaching your child about their emotions, you can empower them with moral strength. Rather than your child’s issue being someone else’s fault, they can bravely say, “I feel upset when…”
Focus on Inner Strength
Bullying prevention is especially necessary for those children who are all too eager to grow up. That’s because children can easily misconstrue intimidation for adult strength. Wanting to be a grown-up, they may dominate through fear and threats.
For these children, show them what strength really is. Talk straightforward with your child about what it means to be an adult.
For example, be frank about topics like law adherence or work policies. The aim is to hone in on the idea of using inner strength rather than forcefulness or cruelty to get what you want in life.
Consider Other External Problems
As mentioned before, children can behave much differently from one environment to the next.
For example, your child may be a happy-go-lucky jokester at home. Yet, the teacher keeps reporting back to you with concerns about your child’s bullying tendencies.
Hearing your child is less than perfect can be difficult when it comes to parenting.
However, bullying prevention is a group effort. It’s an “it takes a village” sort of thing.
Therefore, to raise a child and not a bully, listen to behavioral feedback from those who experience your child in other situations. Next, consider why your child is behaving like that. There could be an external problem you don’t know about. Take the time to dig a little deeper into the entire situation.
Be the Example
Lastly, don’t be a bully yourself. It seems so simple, and yet, sometimes even the best of parents resort to their own bullying tactics.
Instead, be self-aware. Know where you stand emotionally and get to know yourself better. Take the time to find your own backbone. Embrace your self-confidence. And stay devoted to self-transformation.
Life is a journey. No one ever said you had to reach perfection before becoming a parent.
Above all, remember, your children learn what you teach them. Not only are they paying attention to how you treat them, but they’re also watching closely how you treat others.
Parenting is a tough job, full of unexpected twists and turns. If you’re struggling with an aspect of your parenting role, please contact me. I’d be happy to help.
Or visit here to learn more about my approach to family and children counseling.