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How to Deal with Bullying Incidents in an Effective Way

 

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How to Deal with Bullying Incidents in an Effective Way

If your child hasn’t faced such an incident yet, he/she might face it later on so it’s better for us to be ready with the needed answers.

 

What to do when your child is being bullied?

There is no one straight forward answer that fits all, so let’s say we need to have a toolbox filled with different tools (ideas) so we can alternate between them whenever needed.

We all resonate with telling our kids to “go tell the teacher”, however unfortunately not all teachers would act upon this nor take it as seriously as they are expected to. Thus, we can’t tell our kids that this is their only option. So what can we do instead?

Here are a few tools that you can equip your child with. These are just suggestions that you can start off with, then enrich them by brainstorming other ideas with your child who knows himself/herself, the situation and the bully best.

1) Suggest to your child to try to stay in a group, as much as possible. Your child might need your help in that. You need to help him/her connect with his/her friends through organizing play-dates and outings together which include quality and fun time.

2) Ask your child to try to shout back loudly at the bully telling him/her ” Stop that, right now”. It is best to do that especially while other teachers are around (bullying usually takes place during recess time and teachers should be around supervising the kids). This trick works sometimes because when you ask someone in a loud voice to stop, you are grabbing people’s attention and bullies don’t like to be caught bullying others so they don’t get into trouble.

3) Ask your child to smile back in a sarcastic way or show the bully that he/she isn’t bothered. If your child can ignore the bully, even better. This, however, needs a poker face which isn’t that easy to put on when you are being teased! Bullies want to bother and upset you. If they think what they are doing isn’t working the way they wanted it to work (ineffective), they’d quit or go find another person who’d be affected by their words and actions.

4) Tell your child that it is ok to ask an adult to interfere. This adult need not be his/her own teacher but someone whom he/she trusts: be it the head-teacher, a staff member, an admin, a former teacher.

5) Tell your child that there is nothing wrong with them. Bullying happens because the bully has issues, not the one who is being bullied. Explain to your child the psychology behind it.

6) Calling the parent helps sometimes but not always. Use this option wisely, if you think the parent is wise enough to deal with it properly.

7) If nothing works and the bullying is consistent, inform the school before things escalate and get out of control. Don’t wait for too long to take action. I’d suggest you inform your child first before you go, although sometimes it is better to do it anyways.

8) Finally, learn to communicate with your child and listen carefully with empathy without blame or criticism. Work on your child’s confidence by empowering him/her with different tools and techniques to be able to deal with life. Work on your child’s potential and let him/her prove herself in the field she/he is interested in. Connect her/him with people who share the same interests.

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Noha Abu-Sitta

Noha is a certified Health Coach by Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, a certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator and a passionate mother of two. Through her blog, she hopes to empower families and parents to lead a healthy, happy and well balanced life inside out.

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