Every morning that I wake up, I find myself swarmed with a multitude of responsibilities or chores for the day ahead. One of the biggest responsibility as a parent, I believe is to keep your child safe and protected. One of the ways to do so is to empower your child with ideas and means to protect themselves when no one is available for help. How do you then expect mere 5-6 year olds to protect themselves? Thanks to the dynamic nature of our work and lifestyle, we cannot always be around our children to keep the wrong away from them. Parent’s need to continuous communicate with their children and make them aware of their surroundings.
Kids love spending time with kids and it doesn’t really matter even if they are older kids. It is, infact one of the best ways for kids to learn. Kids observe other kids and are very good at aping behavior. The problem arises when these older kids begin bullying the younger kids. It was just the other day when my six year old felt hounded by his set of friends who he always shares his toys with. He felt stranded and was left crying alone over a trifle of an argument. The worst part, his parent’s weren’t around to rescue him from all the silent bullying that happened. Luckily he had another family member come to his rescue. How I felt as a parent, well besides wanting to smash them like hulk, I also felt like going into hibernation because mom guilt was engulfing my happy spirit energetically.
I decided to shun the mom guilt and ask it to part itself in a corner and decided to speak to my little beloved one about bullying. I first had to understand why he felt so affected by what others said and then make him understand about doing the exact opposite. Well, I am not sure, if I told you enough that, parenting isn’t easy. I also told him that since he already loves himself so much, he should love himself a little more, so that other’s opinions about him should feel like pouring water on a duck’s back.
So while we spoke a lot about growing up and how it’s ok to experience different emotions, I also made sure I comforted him and heard him out completely. Here are few ways that parents can handle bullying in children.
Explain what bullying is – Often parents ask kids to give in or ignore a certain negative behavior from other child. Parents however need to educate children about what bullying is and how can they identify it. Bullying can be done for various reasons, such as to cause pain or to show power. It is an incident that occurs frequently.
Communicate – A working parent, a stay home parent, a work from home parent or a single parent. Whatever your parenting set up is like, you must always, always talk to your kids! Keep the communication open and friendly. Yes, you need to draw boundaries of discipline sometimes but that shouldn’t stop you from asking them how they are feeling or how their day was. You should also share about your day in order to encourage them to talk.
Appreciate positive behavior – It may not always be necessary that your child is being bullied, sometimes they can be the bully too or may just be a bystander. Educate them about positive behavior and appreciate it. If you notice your child doing something nice, appreciate it immediately. If your child has witness someone getting bullied, teach them to offer support to the victim and also take a stand against bullying. Teach them to involve an adult when confronting a bully.
Help boost your child’s confidence – We are living in an era where it is very easy for our kids to get lured by the gadgets. It becomes important to enroll kids for classes where they can have fun, utilize their time and also engage in activities that boost up their confidence. There is one such platform that list various classes on their website and makes picking a class very easy for parents. You can look it up here.
It begins at home – Always practice positive and happy behavior at home. Like they say, charity begins at home. Children tend to display the behavior they see in parents. As parents we should be able to distinguish between being authoritative and being rude. Always set an example for your kids to follow.
Bullying may not always be very evident. Some kids get impacted through various ways of bullying. As parents we must look for the slightest change of behavior in our kids. Observe their emotional state and talk to them. You need to come across as completely non-judgmental when dealing with kids.Offer tons of support and comfort.
If you want to handle bullying, you need to involve another adult or a teacher. Incase, your child is bullying someone, then besides communicating, you also need to look at healthy alternatives to help you child cope with it. Always show faith in your kids and show them how to make amendments. Turning bad behavior into good behavior can be taxing and won’t happen overnight. As parents you need to invest time and patience equally to handle a sensitive matter like this.