One of the biggest, most unfortunate issues in our society is bullying. It's always been an issue, and for good reason – it's difficult to stop. Bullying is a problem because it can lead to issues like anxiety and depression for children later on in life, and no one should have to go through that. In the case of bullying, no child should ever have to live in any sort of fear. With all of that said, you can do your part in the fight against bullying by teaching your children that it's wrong, and that it's something that they simply shouldn't ever partake in.
As I'm sure some of you may have already done, I've had the talk about bullying with my children, and there are some ways that you can go about it. Here a few of my personal tips, all of which should help you in bringing up the subject to your children.
- Help your children understand bullying – While it may sound basic, it's extremely important that when bringing up the subject, the subject is understood. It's important to go into detail about what bullying exactly is. Not only that, but explain that there are different forms of bullying. For example, bullying can happen any way in today's technological age. We're past the days where bullying just took place on the playground, on the school bus, or in the classroom. Instead, bullying can take place online and through social media, which children today are using at younger ages.
- Inform your children about the right choices to make – It's crucial to let your children know that if they see something, then they need to say something, whether it's to you, a teacher, or another supervising adult. By doing this, the adult that they inform of the situation can step in and at the very least, provide comfort to both the victim and the situation at hand in general.
- There can be consequences - It's important to let your child know that bullying is unacceptable, and not fair to any child. Not only that, but it's vital that you let them know that if they partake in any bullying, that there will be consequences, both at school and at home. Let them know that it isn't worth it!
- Teach your children to be kind to everyone – This is perhaps the most important part, at least it has been in my experience. Hammer home the point to your children of how truly important it is to simply try and be nice to everyone. It's the old cliché of "what goes around comes around," and I truly believe that. If you're kind to everyone, great things will come your way, and it's important to let your children know that.
- Don't tell them to 'just ignore it' – While this may seem like a great idea at first, it's really not, because in most cases, if nothing is done about the situation, it won't stop. Now, this isn't to say that your child should retaliate with any sort of violence, because that's the last thing anyone wants, but it goes back to speaking with an adult. Whether your child speaks to you or an adult at school, it's a step in the right direction. The last thing your child should do is "just ignore it." With all of that said, it's crucial to let your child know that if they're ever being bullied, that they must speak up.
Victims of bullying can feel alone. They can feel isolated, which as mentioned, can lead to anxiety and depression both as a child and as they grow older, so even as a parent, by simply talking to your children about the subject of bullying, you're already playing a major role.
Have you talked to your children about bullying? If you have any tips of your own to share on the subject, as it pertains to discussing the topic with your children, I would love for you to share them with myself and the readers in the comments below!
Find more about the author: Kim Hart