The topic of bullying is one intrinsically linked to the concept of coming-of-age. In the past, it has always been defined as “a part of growing up”. But these days, bully-related incidents are on the rise, becoming more violent, more traumatic, and having more devastating effects. A major factor in this is cyber-bullying, a consequence of the increasing digitization of the world. But whether the incidents are taking place at school, at the park, or in the home via digital technologies, what’s important is to know how to properly equip our children with the tools to stand up to bullying.
The Huffington Post recently published a piece on how to Bully-Proof Your Child. Of course, bullies are unavoidable, but what makes the article useful is its intention to help parents groom their children to not allow bullies to diminish their self-worth. Key here is confidence, a child who is comfortable and happy with themselves is less likely to fall victim to bullies, and when they do, are less likely to feel devastating effects, such as depression or suicidal urges, from the experience.
Child self-esteem expert Todd Gaster notes,”It’s a matter of building a confident and resilient child at home. You may not be able to stop the bullies from coming, but you can teach your child to skillfully handle the situation themselves.”
With this in mind, here are 4 ways one might be able to keep their children happy and safe:
1. Promote positive emotions. This will counteract any negative emotions they may encounter through bullying, and allow them to better process the situation.
2. Explore areas of interest your child may have. Bullying often relies on attacking a child’s perceived inadequacies, but by allowing them to pursue their enjoyed skills you allow them to maintain a higher level of pride and self-worth. This will make it far more difficult for bullies to tear them down. It will also remind them that they have a supportive family.
3. Develop problem-solving skills. This will equip them with the know-how to extract the best result from any situation, even those of a negative nature. It will also help to keep them grounded and focused on realistic future goals. This is significant to keeping depression at bay.
4. Lead by example. Parents should always keep in mind that actions speak louder than words.