Bullying can take place anywhere and comes in many different forms.
From spreading rumours, to posting inappropriate photos, to threatening someone.
The first step to helping your child is to be a good listener. Remember, you’re the expert about your own child and also a role model for how to handle difficult situations.
Here are some general tips and strategies to help you have a successful conversation and handle the most frequently reported problems of bullying.
A) Take your child seriously and listen.
If your child wants to talk to you about a bullying situation, take it seriously. Your ability to listen to your child and understand their feelings and experiences mean everything to your child. It is a basic human need to be heard and understood.
B) Find the best space to have the conversation.
Find a private place to talk with your child where you both will be comfortable and your child feels safe to talk freely. Consider taking a walk or going for a snack. Give your child the physical distance they need during the conversation.
C) Before you talk to your child, check in with your own feelings.
Take a deep breath, recognize the strong emotions you might have about the situation, and, most importantly, manage them before you talk with your child.
D) Remember, you are the role model.
Your child is learning about the best and worst ways to respond to challenging situations like bullying from watching you. Your feelings are contagious. If you stay calm, your child will more likely be calm and learn how to deal with challenging situations effectively. If you notice you are still upset and not sure you can stay calm while talking to your child, hold off until you feel ready to have a successful conversation.
E) Give your child unconditional support.
No matter what has happened, let your child know you will listen to them. Let your child get out the full story without interrupting or criticizing them. Your child needs to feel emotionally safe in order to be open and honest with you. Reassure your child that you will not go behind their back to “fix or report” the problem and that you will work with them to find a positive resolution.
F) Be a good listener; don’t put words into your child’s mouth or jump to conclusions.
Use a calm and steady voice throughout the conversation. Avoid using harsh or accusatory language, which can result in your child either shutting down or becoming more upset. Avoid being judgmental or critical about what behaviour they were engaged in before the bullying incident.
G) Do not blame your child for being the target of bullying.
Avoid making promises you can’t keep, but do reassure your child that you want to help find a successful resolution to the problem and that you will do your best to make sure their life doesn’t get more difficult. Talk with your child about the problem.
H) Find out what happened.
Find out exactly what happened, how long it has been happening, and if anything that has happened after it has been reported. Your background knowledge of your child’s relationship with the person who was bullied could influence how you discuss and handle the situation. When asking your child about what happened, be a good listener; don’t put words into your child’s mouth, or jump to conclusions.
I) Communicate your values.
Let your child know that bullying behaviour is unacceptable and that there will be consequences. Remind your child of important key values like kindness, respect and empathy.
To learn more about cyberbullying education, grab a copy of ZACHDEV – TECH PARENTING ebook today!
(Credits to facebook.com)