Carol Fredrickson shares how to talk with your child about bullying
When your child comes to you saying that they have been the victim of bullying, remain calm. Fight the urge to jump into action and contain your anger. Listen and be fully engaged with your child and their story. Don’t interrupt or offer your opinion. Once they have finished ask them open ended questions that may help fill in any missing details.
It is imperative that you get a hold of your emotions before jumping in to fix the situation. We must model appropriate behavior for our children.
Three things that you can do regarding bullying:
1. Take bullying seriously. This is not a phase that your child is going through. Offer support to your child whether they are 6 or 16. This may be the most difficult issue that they have ever dealt with.
2. Consider enrolling your child into a martial arts program or a self-defense class. No, I am not suggesting that they learn to beat up the bully, but martial arts can build confidence in a child. Bullies rarely pick on a confident child – they almost always choose someone who is vulnerable or lacks confidence.
3. Teach your child how to respond to a bully. Teach them what they CAN do in order to give them back some power. They need confidence, assurance and direction.