Bullying is a constant issue some children face. According to Linda Hartley, a licensed clinical social worker in Fort Wayne, while you can’t “bully proof” your child entirely, you can help your child with some strategies to minimize the “sting” the bullying causes.
- Hartley says a child needs to have a sort of feel good “armor” on, in order to allow those wounding word arrows to bounce right off. Teach your child to learn the power of silence in the face of hurtful words, in ignoring a bully. While some children may have been taught that not engaging makes them weak, they should be taught that such self control makes them really strong.
- At the same time, when bullying crosses the line such as online or text bullying often does, or if someone attacks your child’s real limitations or handicaps, then an adult needs to step in. Teach your child to speak with an adult, says Hartley, and keep asking until he or she finds one that will listen and act.
- Help your child use logic, Hartley recommends. If someone makes fun of, say, your child’s sister, ask if the bully even knows the child’s sister. “If not, why would you let it bother you?” Hartley suggests asking.
- Don’t tell your child to give as good as they get. It’s important that your child learns what can and can’t be controlled. You can’t control what someone else says or does, just your response. “Know your power,” Hartley teaches children.