10 Tips From Experts to Bully-Proof Your Kids

little girl bullying in school classroom

The information about what to do when our kids are bullied – or about how we can lessen their risk of getting bullied – is so conflicting that it’s not always easy to know what to do. We now know that certain approaches such as calling a bully out do not necessarily stop bullying, and can even make the behavior worse. What we do know is that much of the advice adults give bullied kids, such as “pretend you don’t care” or “ask them to stop,” are often ineffective.

It has been said that those who are different from the group are the most common bullying targets. The problem is there are so many ways to define “different” that practically everyone can become a target. The bad thing about bullying is that it can’t always be prevented. The good thing is that experts have found that some approaches are helpful in bully-proofing kids.

1 | Encourage kids to ask for help

According to the bullying expert Stan Davis, asking for help is more effective than telling bullies to stop. After interviewing 13,000 kids in the “Youth Voice Project,” Stan Davis and Charisse Nixon found that the most effective actions included asking parents for help, asking other students for help, and asking adults at school for help.

According to Davis, asking for help provides bullied kids with support and encouragement. Whether or not your child is a victim of bullying, it is important to talk about bullying and to let him know that he should not be embarrassed about being bullied or embarrassed about asking for help. When we improve how we communicate with our kids, they are more likely to come to us when they need our help.

2 | Promote positive body language

According to the parenting expert Michele Borba, kids perceived as confident are less likely to be bullied. In other words, how your kid looks is more important than what he or she says.

Dr Borba suggests that as early as age three we can teach our kids to be confident. She proposes that kids should be taught to look into their friends’ eyes when they’re talking to them. Practicing this behavior will help them learn to display a confident disposition…

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