- Establish family rules about treating people with respect.
- Teach how to be assertive, not aggressive.
- Increase your children’s sense of power through athletics and extra-curricular activities.
- Talk about how to be a good friend.
- Point out how other people are feeling.
- Let them know you believe in them.
- Get involved directly if your child is being bullied and is unable to resolve it alone.
- Treat the bully with compassion.
- Discuss ways to stand up for others who are being bullied.
- Speak out against bullying in your life and your children’s.
A certain amount of teasing is to be expected. Children need to be taught the skills to help them maneuver through the complicated social lives of kids. However, when the power balance becomes uneven and a child begins to feel helpless, it is no longer innocent “teasing.”
Children need to feel safe in order to thrive, and they need the adults in their world to have their backs when they are targeted. Likewise, those who are bullies need support to learn better, more respectful ways to interact with others. Parents should communicate that bullying is never acceptable.
Parents can model for their children opposing injustices, acting with compassion, and being advocates for themselves.