We’re trying to help our kids understand what a bully is and how to keep from becoming one. Our kids need to know that they should always say “No” to a bully. They also need to know that when they react to a situation with aggression and hurtful words, that is no better than being a bully.
Standing Up For Yourself: A Parent's Guide for Talking With Kids About Bullies
Ask your child:
- Do you know what a bully is?
- Do you know of any bullies at school?
- Do you think that bullies are good friends to others?
Then, follow the lead of where your child’s answers take you and talk about the differences between friends and bullies.
For when it’s time to site down and start the conversation about bullying with your student or child
Anyone is able to act like a bully and you need to talk to your child or student about what a bully is. A bully is someone who humiliates others into making bad choices or makes others feel bad about themselves through mean words. Bullies thinnk they have power over others but they only really have power if their victim does not stand up for themselves. Tell your child to stand up to a bully so that the bully will know your child has self respect. Tell your child that you know they are smart enough and strong enough to stand up to bulllies.
Bullies try to get other kids to react to their mean beahvior. This naturally makes some kids being bullied angry. When anger causes mean action or hurtful words then anger has turned into aggression. Tell your child or student that aggression is never okay and that aggression is no better than bullying. Standing up to a bully means being assertive, saying “No” in a firm, respectful way. Some ways they can do this include saying No to anything a bully asks them to do, saying Stop if a bully is using mean words towards them and letitng an adult know that they are being bullied or if they see someone else being bullied.
What if your child is the bully? No matter how sweet our kids may be, we might find them on the wrong side of the bully talk. They might be making bad choices and treating others poorly. Our job is to let them know that they are wrong for doing this and that it will be very hard for them to make and keep friens if they don’t change the way they treat others. For a child, being lonely is one of the worst feelings in the world. For a bully, being lonely is unavoidable. If they don’t fix their behavior and start respecting others, they will will lonely.
It’s important that you and your child or student choose together to respect yourselves and others. If your child thinks that keeping freinds is hard, it may be beacuse of the way your child is treating others. Decide to say “no” together to other people who don’t treat you well. Shake hands with your child and promise each other to respect yourselves enough to stand up to bullies and friends that want to talk you into making bad decisions.
The North Wind and the Sun
An argument came up between the North Wind and the Sun, because both of them were convinced that they were stronger than the other one. Finally, they agreed to try their power on a man walking by to see who could get him to take off his coat first.
The North Wind got to go first. Getting all of his strength up, he came whirling and swirling down around the man and caught up his coat, thinking he could take it from him in one powerful gust. But the harder the North Wind blew, the harder the man held on to his coat.
Then, it was the Sun’s turen. At first, the Sun beamed gently around the man, who soon let go of his coat and walked with it hanging loosely around his shoulders. Then, the Sun shone with full power, and the man took just a few more steps before he was glad to take his coat completely off. The man continued his walk with a lighter load.
After the Story…
Now talk about the following points with your student or child:
- The North Wind was like a bully, trying to use its strength to get the man to take off his coat. It would be good for anyone to keep their coat on in such a strong wind, so the North Wind did not have the man’s best interest in mind.
- The man stood up to the North Wind, respecting himself and using all of his strength to do what was right for him.
- The Sun was gentle like a good friend. Because a jacket is not comfortable in the heat, the Sun wasn’t trying to get the man to do anything that could bring him harm.
Stay on Target
Tips to help keep your child’s new skills in action at home and at school.
- Let your child know they can always come talk to you about trouble with friends or bullies.
- Keep reading all of the notes that come home from school. See if any problems mentioned have to do with pressure coming from other students.
- Watch how your child plays with kids outside of school. Step in if you see any bullying and ask the kids to respect each other if you see any negative pressuring happen, even if it’s coming from your own child.
Bullies are consistently overbearing. They work to cause humiliation or discomfort, especially if the other victim seems weaker or smaller.
Is is important to watch our own behavior with our children or students. Adults are capable of acting like bullies too.
In over 80% of bullying cases, an adult is in a position to intervene and stop the bullying.