Some reports claim that up to 49% of children in grades 4-12 reported being bullied by peers in school during a months time (teenfaab.com, 8/2017). There are no stats available on the bullying rate for children with “special needs”, although, I believe it fair to say that prevalence would be even greater for this group of kids.
For those of us who have been bullied ourselves, as children and teens, we know how the torturous memories never really go away. As parents, we are the “protectors” of our children. We want to keep them safe, happy, and healthy, however, we can’t be with them all the time.
Being a professional clinician, I have found it more realistic to help “our children” avoid becoming victims of bullying than to help them get over the long term damage experienced from the trauma of bullying.
Have you ever tried to teach children to not bully others once they already started, I have and so have many others, sadly the results are not often very inspiring. So what can parents do? . Here are several strategies to keep kids from becoming targets — and stop bullying that has already started:
Talk about experiences you may have had or others close to you may have had, focus on the solutions? Teach your children to know what bullying really looks like from a young age.
Identify and minimize the negative attention. If your child is not fashion conscious, enjoys activities usually enjoyed by much younger children, has a physical, emotional, perceptual, or behavioral disability, address it. Don’t wait for them to “grow out of it”.
Work with school personnel to help your child “buddy-up”. If they do not have friends, works a plan to not have the child by themselves where bullies can target them including on the bus, in the bathroom, or walking the halls.
Do not react. Teach your child to keep calm and carry on. Bullies continue their pursuit when kids react, ” don’t let them see you sweat”.
Involve your child in physical activities, whether it be sports, martial arts, or bike riding, help them be confident in themselves “NO MATTER WHAT”.
“Bullyproof” your children by teaching them how to repel bullies by having strong “social skills”. Join therapeutic social skill groups created and facilitated by trained, educated, graduate and doctoral level counselors. Contact Dr. Nach at the Support for Students Growth Center in Boca Raton, FL, today (561) 990- 7305