12 Ways To Bully Proof Your Child

Bullying continues to plague children and their families across the world. It is a terrible thing that often starts without your knowledge as a parent. Often it is too late discovering a child that isa victim of bullying . The victims are often helpless against their aggressors. It is possible to make sure that your child is able to face an instance of bullying should it occur. It is possible to bully proof your child, and in this article you will learn of the twelve ways how.
 

Ways to Bully Proof Your Child.

 

Through Social Support, Show Them That They Are Not Alone.

 
Often times when a child is bullied, it is rarely discovered at its earlier stages. A child who is being bullied often feels singled out and alone with no one to speak to about their problems.
 
This is where the social support that a family can offer is very important. Build a friendship with your child so they know that they can approach you if anything is troubling them. Spend time with everyone in the family so that they can build this bond of togetherness with them. Take them to see their extended families or organize for them to spend time with you and your child as a family.
 
The last thing that you want is for your child to feel alone at any point in their lives. At times when they feel this way, they will not speak up about sensitive issues like bullying. They feel that no one has the time to hear them out.
 
Let the family be like a support system for them. When anything is on their mind, they can speak to you as their parent, uncle, cousin or even grandparents.
 

Help Them Build Their Social Skills.

 
The sad truth is that a bully will always prey on a child that is vulnerable by isolation. You rarely see a bully acting on a group of children together. When a case of bullying does arise, like in a classroom for instance. The victim often had no help from their classmates. This is why it is important to build your child’s social skills so that they have friends and a network of peers. Encourage them to join games with other kids in the playground. Children become a little closer after playing with each other. Find ways to introduce your child to situations. Where they get to make friends, such as birthday parties or even play dates with other children.
 
This encourages your child to connect with their peers. Constant association allows them to build circle of friends in the different places. They will have friends from their school, other schools, the playground and other places they go to. It helps that they will rarely be by themselves, which can make them a difficult target for bullies.
 

Help Them Find an Activity of Interest.

 
As your child continues to grow, it is important that you note the things that they like to do. Developing an area of interest is important because it gives them something to be happy about. When they are busy doing what they love, they devote their time to it and are less attractive to bullies. One of the vulnerabilities that bullies like to exploit is a child with nothing to do in their spare time.
 
Find opportunities for your child to be involved in. Activities that they might find enjoyable. Encourage them to join clubs at school. Organize classes where they learn different skills. If they already have something that they enjoy doing, encourage them to pursue it further. Support them along the way as they do.
 
If your child enjoys drawing, buy them materials to do as much as possible. Enroll them in a class where they can grow this passion. Sign up your child for a sports camp if they show interest in football, swimming or any other sport for that matter. Research and register them for competitions where they can compete and improve. Find ways to let your child indulge in their passion as much as possible. So that they will always remain focused and too busy for a bully to single out.
 

Grow Their Problem Solving Skills.

 
As obvious a problem as bullying is, many victims will often speak about how “they did not know what to do”. This stems from children not knowing how to counter the problem itself, or knowing ways to make it stop. Bullies thrive in the helplessness of their victims. It is important to develop your child’s problem solving skills. They will learn to be aware of how to handle a bully should the situation arise.
 
Encourage your child to think about courses of action they could take when faced with challenging situations. This is so that they understand that there is always a way out, and that it is not a dead end. While talking, present them with hypothetical situations. Have them think about different ways to behave in each. If teased for instance, ask them what they think they should do. Should they tease back, ignore it or tell the other person that they feel uncomfortable about it? Ask them to consider the best option to take every time.
 
This teaches them to look at problems in many ways, hence think of many ways to solve them. As a result, they will not feel useless or powerless to act when confronted with a case of bullying.
 

Teach Them to Use Their Words.

 
Often of bullying, the victims are often unable to speak up for themselves. It is an unfortunate quality that makes them more reserved and afraid to speak their mind on what it is they want. To a bully, this feels like they have succeeded in keeping their victim down. Prevent your child from being that kind of person by teaching them to use words to defend themselves.
 
Communication experts recommend teaching your child to begin their statements with assertive phrases such as “I want…” as in the statement “I want you to stop”. Teach them to respond to any aggression against them with a question like, “Why would you call me stupid?” for instance. This throws off a bully who often expects you to say nothing as they continue their assault on you.
 
It is through speaking up that your child can let the world know what is happening to them. People hear you asking the bully to stop harassing you. The last thing a bully wants is attention from everyone. It makes them uncomfortable that so much attention is drawn to them. They will stop even if it is to avoid being noticed by the respective authority for their actions.
 

Teach Them to Defend Themselves.

 
Unfortunately, in a lot of situations, bullies tend to be violent. People like these often act too quickly for reactions with words to be effective. There are times when physical force can only be countered with physical force. It is in cases like this it is important that your child know how to defend themselves.
 
Enroll them in a class that teaches them the basics of self-defense, such as Martial Arts . Learning these skills will be a great source of confidence for them. They will never feel defenseless when under threat of physical violence.
 
It is important to also teach them to only use these skills in self-defense. It is not a platform that empowers them to be violent against others. The skills should be used as a countermeasure to allow them to escape a dangerous situation.
 
There are simple measures that anyone can take to defend themselves when faced with violence. Learn about them and teach them to your child. Do some research on some of the available self-defense classes in your area. Find out if they teach children as well. 

Let Them Learn From You.

 
Children will always look to their parents as their primary learning outlet. Things that shape them into adults of the future. Rely on what they learn from being around and watching you as a parent. When it comes to facing issues of the outside world. Your child will react with what they have learnt from watching you.
 
Children are very impressionable. They will often imitate what they see their parents doing subconsciously. If you are generally assertive and a confident person around your child. Your child will be confident and assertive as well.
 
You can use this subconscious bond that you share with your child. To teach them skills that keep them from being bullied. Let them see you reason as your resolve the problems you face and they will learn to do it themselves. Let them see you interacting with people confidently. They will practice the same confidence with other children in their lives as well.
 
When they are still young, children will do as their parents do more than as they say. It is so important that while you still have their watchful gaze, to do what you would like them to do as well. Let them learn from you.
 

Teach Them to Love Themselves and Anything That Sets Them Apart.

 
One of the ways that bullies try to bring down their victims is through singling them out. For a quality that is unique to them. This is why you hear a child say that they were picked on. Something that makes them stand out from other children. Like weight, wearing braces or wearing glasses. The lists of unique qualities that are attractive to a bully are many. But that is the case with human beings in general.
 
Help your child understand that we are all not the same. That there is something about each of us that is unique only to us. Teach them to be proud of what makes them unique by pointing out the ways that the quality is special. Nothing takes the wind out of a bully’s sails than a victim that is proud of their unique quality. Insecurity or disdain for what sets you apart is like ammunition for a bully’s attacks. Confidence in these qualities robs them of anything to attack you with.
 
For example, if someone makes fun of them for being small in stature. Tell them of the many advantages that having a short stature could bring!. Tell them to tell that to the bully the next time they make fun of their height. Teach them to agree with their teaser so that they have nothing to make your child feel bad about.
 

Encourage Them to Be Confident.

 
Nothing encourages a bully to bully even more than a victim. That is wallowing in fear and lack of self-esteem. Bullies thrive on oppression through instilling fear in their victims. And so long as a person is afraid, the source of that fear will always hold that power over their heads. You need to teach your child to be confident. Self-confidence is like a weapon. That can protect them from a bully’s fear-driven oppressive behavior.
 
Always praise your child when they do well so that they feel good about themselves. And become more confident in their ability to do the said things well. Help them understand that they can’t always succeed in everything. But they can always do their best and that is what matters most. In this way they will learn resilience. Which is integral to building strong self-esteem. Teach them to be proud of everything they manage to do. And they will become self-confident. It will be difficult to bully a child that loves themselves, flaws and all.
 
Encourage them with positivity with every task they undertake, whether big or small. Praise them for that drawing they did. Or for participating in the school track team competition. Every bit of positive reinforcement adds to their self-esteem.
 
Talk To and With Them about Anything As Often As You Can.
 
It is not unheard of that a child undergoing any kind of bullying is often very quiet and reserved. Many times, these children will feel alone with nobody to talk to. And will tend to keep things to themselves until it is too late. As a parent you can prevent this by always keeping the lines of communication open between you and your child.
 
As simple as it may sound, talking can turn out to be your child’s greatest source of comfort. Once they know that they can tell someone about what is happening to them. They feel infinitely better. As such make it a responsibility to your child to always set aside some time to just talk to them. No matter how busy you are, always try to be aware of everything that is going on in your child’s life. Listen to them when they have something to say.
 
Ask them more about what they did today, and have them tell you how they felt when they did it. Make it a habit to talk to your child about anything and everything. It will become almost reflexive of them to tell you about themselves each day.
 

Teach Them Positivity.

 
It is in the depths of fear, depression and negativity that bullying prospers the most. A child is easier to pick on when they are depressed and sad about something or other going on in their daily life. It is harder for a child to overcome bullying if they are facing such levels of negativity. Like fighting two battles between themselves and between them and their bully.
 
What is important for your child to understand is that life isn’t always a bed of roses. It sounds like a simple lesson but it is one that can be difficult to understand, especially for a growing child. Help them understand that sometimes in life, things don’t go the way we want and it is okay. Teach them to always look on the bright side of negative situations from a young age. It will become a habit for them as they continue to grow.
 
Suppose your child competed in a local swimming competition and lost. Teach them to be positive by praising them for being strong enough to be able to compete in the first place. Teach them that it isn’t the end of the world, and that many more chances at competing will be coming. Positive thinking makes it hard for a bully to prey on their depression and sadness. If they are positive enough to pick themselves up, despite the negativity around them.
 

Teach Them about What Bullying Is.

 
This may sound like the most obvious tip. You will be surprised how many children are unaware that they are being bullied. As your child grows to face the world around them, teach them about bullying itself. Help them understand its wrong for anyone to make them feel uncomfortable. By picking on them or singling them out.
 
Talk with your child about what they should do when they feel as though one person is giving them a hard time. And that they should always tell someone about it.
 
This empowers them to be able to notice bullying when it is happening not only to them, but also to someone else. This allows them to speak to someone about it. Or intervene when they feel a friend of theirs is going through the same. They will remain vigilant, making it harder for a bully to have their way with them.
 
Have a talk with your child about bullying and ask them if they know what it is. Tell them how to avoid bullies by ignoring them. Encourage them to speak up if they know someone going through the same.
 

Conclusion.

 
There is no parent in the world that wants to see their child go through bullying. It is a terrible situation that can leave a child scarred for the rest of their lives. because they did not know how to protect themselves. It does not have to be that way. As you can see, there are many ways to protect your child from bullying. The truth of the matter is that we may not know when our child might be exposed to any kind of bullying. It isn’t always so simple. These few tips could help you enable your child to handle these situations should they arise.
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