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Starting a new school ? Help your child stay bully-proof.

Starting a new school ? Help your child stay bully-proof.

Each of us deserves the freedom to pursue our own version of happiness. No one deserves to be bullied.   Barack Obama

Mean kids aren’t just a middle-school problem.The trouble has trickled to the youngest grades.Learn how to spot it—and how to protect children of all ages from bullies at school.

Bullying can be physical (pushing, punching, or hitting);verbal (name-calling or threats); or psychological and emotional (spreading rumors or excluding someone from a conversation or activity).

Typical bullying symptoms include physical complaints such as worries and fears, and a child not wanting to go to school.

Steps to deal with bullying :

1.Ask questions and get your kids talking about their social situation. Know which friends they’re getting along with and which ones they’re not. Establishing good communication should start well before the kids are having bullying problems. Keep it very general for the younger kids, but if you suspect a problem or if your child has vocalized a problem, press for more details.

2. As kids get older, they have a significant awareness of peer relationships, so you can be more direct with your questions. When your kids talk, really listen to what they share and keep your own emotions in check. Often parents will get angry or frustrated, but children don’t need you to overreact. They need you to listen, reassure, and support them. They need to see you as stable and strong and able to help them in any situation.

3. Practice phrases your child can use to tell someone to stop bullying behavior. These should be simple and direct, but not antagonistic: “Leave me alone.” “Back off.” “That wasn’t nice.” Check in with your kids every day about how things are going at school. Use a calm, friendly tone and create a nurturing climate so he isn’t afraid to tell you if something’s wrong. Emphasize that his safety and well-being is important, and that he should always talk to an adult about any problems.

4. Role-playing is a terrific way to build confidence and empower your child to deal with challenges.You can role-play the bully while your child practices different responses until she feels confident handling troublesome situations. As you role play, teach you kid to speak in a strong, firm voice.

5. Encourage hobbies, extracurricular activities, and social situations that bring out the best in your child. Tell your child the unique qualities you love about him and reinforce positive behaviors that you’d like to see more.

“As parents, we have a tendency to focus on negative situations, but kids actually listen better when their good behaviors are reinforced. Honoring kid’s strengths and encouraging healthy connections with others can affect self-esteem, increase your kid’s long-term confidence, and prevent any potential bullying situations.

Take Action to Stop Bullying

Ultimately, it’s up to parents to help young child deal with a bully. Help him learn how to make smart choices and take action when he feels hurt or see another child being bullied, and be ready to intervene if necessary.

Report Repeated, Severe Bullying
If your child is reluctant to report the bullying, go with him to talk to a teacher, guidance counselor, principal, or school administrator.

Encourage Your Child to Be an Up stander
Being an up stander means a child takes positive action when she sees a friend or another student being bullied.Ask your child how it feels to have someone stand up for her, and share how one person can make a difference.

Teach Coping Skills
If your child is being bullied, remind her that it’s not her fault, she is not alone, and you are there to help. It’s important for kids to identify their feelings so they can communicate what’s going on; therefore, parents should talk about their own feelings.

Help your child deal with a bully will build confidence and prevent a difficult situation from escalating. What parents shouldn’t do, no matter the child’s age, is assume that this is normal peer stuff that will work itself out.

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