Thursday, December 1, 2011Gariane Phillips Gunter, M.D.
Do you think October's national anti-bullying campaign was successful in stopping bullies? The Washington Post recently blogged about our country having a hard time defining bullying among kids. So, what can we, as parents, do to protect our children and teens? Here are some tips for "bully-proofing" your kids:
Distinguish between events and feelings - It is important to teach your children the difference in their interpretations of life situations. This helps kids learn to understand and relate to the feelings of others. They will be able to determine if someone is treating them appropriately - or if they are, in fact, being bullied.
Positive activities - It is also important to encourage your kids to explore activities that make them feel good about themselves. Find something that they are really good at because it will help increase their overall self-esteem and feeling of self-worth. Encouraging courageous behavior is another great way to guide children. You can teach them to stand up for themselves and for their peers and other friends. When groups of kids or teens stand together to put an end to a bullying situation, the bully is more likely to back off and won't mess with your child again.
Following these tips when your kids are young is the best way to show them how to establish early on that they will not tolerate bullying.
Sources: http://www.makebeatsnotbeatdowns.org/, http://www.olweus.org/