Although it can seem counterintuitive or even a little OTT for some, in this era where social media is such a prevalent part of our children’s lives, we need to be prepared.
Of course, no parent expects their child to be bullied but the grim reality of it is that it is a possibility.
Over the generations, there have been many ways parents have tried to help their children deal with bullying if and when it does happen but is there ever really a ‘correct’ way to condition your child for a potential bullying scenario?
It doesn’t have to be as complicated as you may think.
Here are some ways you can try to somewhat ‘bully-proof’ your child:
You can’t help your child figure out something you know nothing about. Get into the habit of getting them to talk. Talk about everything and anything, doesn’t matter what it is about, all that matter is that they are communicating with you. Always try and ask them open-ended, but specific questions. For example, instead of “How was school?” try to ask “Was anyone in your class upset today?”
Check their online activity.
Nowadays a large amount of bullying can be online. It’s important not only to teach your child how to behave online but also to monitor how much time they’re spending online and chatting to others. Spending too much time online can get them caught up in conversations and situations far too much for their mental capability.
Help them to recognise strengths and weaknesses.
Everyone has weaknesses. It’s important for your little one to realise that, to know that is part of life and it's okay. Some parents understandably focus on their little one's strengths but this can give the wrong message to your child and that their weaknesses are something not to be talked about.
Using their ‘strong’ voice.
Often when a child is in a confrontational situation they can feel invisible, not knowing what to do or say. Teaching your little one about eye contact, posture and how to use their ‘strong voice’ can really help them to assert themselves. Remembering a ‘strong voice’ is not a shouting voice rather a voice that is a little lower, slower and deeper.
Do you have any ways to "bully-proof" your child?