Monday, October 3, 2011

Top 10 Bully-Proof Tips to Protect Your Children

Marika Spaseska, author of The Cardboard Girl: Gives Bullying the Flick, has forwarded me her top 10 tips for bully-proofing your child and I knew I needed to share them with you!

·         Develop and sustain positive, core values. It is vital that children know what is acceptable, to have respect for others, know their boundaries and values. For example, it is NOT okay to exclude others from being friends; it's not okay to put others down, etc.

 ·         You are responsible for your child’s self esteem. Children lack the discernment and insight to know that perception or opinion may not be true. Empower your child’s self esteem and confidence and create an environment where your child feels they can openly talk to you. Children may not want to tell anyone if they feel they deserve this type of treatment (bullying), caused it, or that telling would make it worse.
  ·         Teach kids to care. Encourage kids to show they understand and care for others when they're upset or having a hard time. You want your kids to grow up to understand children's emotions, feelings, their fears, wishes and dreams.

  ·         Encourage your children to develop outside, strong relationships and social and physical activities so that they have a life outside of school. Exercise may make kids feel better, too. Support them to make friends outside of school, create time for them, invite them home or to outings. By doing this they are not solely relying on friends at school.
 ·         Break down gender roles - girls are expected to be nice and pretty and boys to be manly, rough and outgoing. If you don't conform to this stereotype you can be picked on or put-down. Children can be whoever they want to be. They need to value themselves and not be judgmental of what others do or look like or if they stray from these norms.

·          Encourage kids to open up about their worries, to talk about things that upset them. By talking about what is happening to someone, be it family, friends, teacher or a counsellor - they will reduce their stress and anxiety levels. There is evidence to suggest that confident children who feel supported by their families and friends are better able to cope with bullying and other pitfalls.

  ·         Empower children to take some control themselves over their behaviour (their mood/temper). This will make your life a bit easier and they will feel better, too, if they can learn to better deal with their frustrations. For example, skills they need to learn when frustrated include: walk away, time alone, time out, writing thoughts down, playing or doing something else and talking to someone about what is going on for them. Do not support aggressive behaviour nor conduct yourself in this manner, as children learn directly from parents and others closest to them. Praise them for good behaviour.
·         Have discussions early with your children about what is bullying and what they can do to stop it. You want to teach your child that if faced with bullying, that they can speak up: tell the kid who is bullying them to stop hurting them or others and that this is unfair. You want your child to be able to tell the 'bully' that what they are saying is nasty and hurtful and that they have no right to speak to them like that. Inspire your children: it's ok to stand up for themselves.

  ·         Teach your kids not to watch and be a bystander to bullying. Tell them that if they stay, it may encourage someone who bullies. Support your kids to be able to tell the person who bullies to stop or urge the other child who is being bullied to walk away with them.
 ·         Don't allow children to watch violent TV or participate in violent video games.  

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4 comments:

  1. Love your site! I’m your newest follower on GFC and Networked Blogs! I’d love to have you as a follower on the PS Beauty Blog too!
    I look forward to reading more of your posts :)

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  2. will read this again after 4 years maybe.. before my lo starts schooling!

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  3. These are great. My sons in middle school & we've already deal with bullies this year. Our school claims no tolerance but yet they overlook things they shouldn't or don't punish severely enough.

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  4. Schools have a responsibility to protect your child, but you also have the responsibility to provide the school with support and encouragement for doing so. In either situation, the first step you can do as a parent is always to talk to your child and maintain open communication. You should also contact your child’s teacher's and other staff at your child’s school as you begin to assess the situation, and as you work to resolve any problems that exist. For further knowledge on how you can protect your children. You can visit this link, and you might find it interesting: http://safetrec.com/

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