The ABC’s of Bully-proofing your Child this School Year
As you know, the school year is approaching and we want your kids to be prepared for the year ahead. With the start of school often comes more opportunities for your child to see or experience bullying. What can you do to help them when these situations arise?
Let’s look at the ABC’s of bully-proofing your child!
A- Be ASSERTIVE
Teaching your child how to be assertive is a great first step to combating bullying. We can teach them that assertive people share their feelings in a straightforward, calm, and respectful manner. They defend themselves and others and ask for what they need. They also respect the needs and wishes of others.
It might be beneficial for your child to practice this skill before the need arises. How can you practice this at home?
You might find that role playing helps your child imagine scenarios and decide what they will do ahead of time. Consider pretending to be a teacher and have your child ask for help. You could also think of a bullying situation to give your child the opportunity to stand up for themselves or others.
B- Set BOUNDARIES
Setting boundaries can be a big step towards your child knowing what they are and are not comfortable with. Help them establish their own physical, verbal, and emotional boundaries. Empower them to stand up for their boundaries when they are pushed or tested.
Teach your child how to say no. This might take some practice or discussions on how to say no respectfully, but it is worth the effort. Your child will benefit from knowing they can stand up to peers and adults alike who overstep their personal boundaries.
C- COMMUNICATE with a trusted adult that you need help or support
Assure your child that asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of. Let them know that if a new or uncomfortable situation comes up, there are lots of people they can turn to for help. This might mean telling a parent when they get home. It also might mean asking a teacher or guidance counselor for assistance.
Let your child know that they are safe to tell adults that they trust. Reassure them that the adults can and should handle the bullying incident discreetly in order to protect your child from further bullying.
We want your child to feel happy and confident walking into this upcoming school year. These ABC’s can give you a head start in preparing your child to stand up for themselves and others this year!