It’s every parent’s nightmare: your child is a victim of a bully. If you believe this hasn’t happened to your child, you probably don’t realize how prevalent cyberbullying is. In fact, 87% of today’s youth has experienced bullying. But these days, bullying has been taken to a whole new level. It used to happen on the playground, but now it’s made its way into cyberspace.
So what can parents do to bully-proof their children? Here are 5 tips:
- Start talking to your child as early as you can.
Even if your kids are older, it’s never too late to start talking to them about bullying. But the earlier you start, the better. Make sure that your children know that bullies exist, and teach them how to react to them. The more they hear about it from you at an early age, the more they will be prepared to deal with it if and when the time comes.
- Build their self-esteem.
One of the reasons that children become victims of a bully is that they don’t have a strong sense of self. If you build your kids’ self-esteem, they won’t believe anything negative that a bully might tell them about themselves. For example, if a bully calls them stupid or ugly, they will just laugh it off because they know it’s not true.
- Tell them not to be a bystander.
Even if your child is not the victim, some other kids will be. Teach your child to stand up for the other kids who are being bullied. There is power in numbers, and bullies don’t like to have a group of people against him/her. They are more likely to back down if there are other kids protecting the victim.
- Teach them to have empathy for the bully.
As the saying goes, “Hurt people hurt people.” If a child grows up in a kind, loving home, it is unlikely they will become a bully. Therefore, tell your kids that the bully probably has been abused at home. They learned that negative behavior somewhere. So tell your kids to have empathy for the bully too, no matter how strange that sounds.
- Teach your kids to be mindful of what they post online.
Sometimes, kids don’t put any thought into what they post online. They may post pictures of them making the popular “duck face” or anything else that might make them the target of cyberbullies. Help them monitor their postings, and give guidance along the way.
Bullying has probably been around for as long as humans have existed. But just because bullies will always be around, that doesn’t mean that you can’t teach your child to be immune to their negative behaviors.
Copyright 2016 TeenSafe.com.