Being the new kid on the block can already be an overwhelming experience. Getting targeted by bullies makes it worse. Here are 5 ways to help your child cope, according to child educators Christine G. Juan and Myla Lee-Tolentino.
BELIEVE WHAT YOUR CHILD IS TELLING YOU.
Accept what he has to say at face value. Do not put words in his mouth to avoid making the situation worse.
LET YOUR CHILD KNOW THAT HE IS NOT ALONE.
Reassure your child that he is not the problem and that nothing he did caused the bully to go after him.
IF YOU CHILD IS BEING THREATENED IN A PHYSICAL OR ILLEGAL WAY AT SCHOOL, REPORT THE PROBLEM.
Teach your child to approach his teachers, guidance counselor, or principal at once. Ask school personnel how you can help them eliminate this undesirable situation in your child’s life.
TEACH YOUR CHILD TO BE FIRM AND HOW TO IGNORE ROUTINE TEASING.
Let him know it is okay to say no. Encourage him to give verbal warnings to the bully, to act brave, and to never show fear. Remind your child to stay calm. If ignoring the bully works better, tell your kid to do so.
ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD NOT TO GIVE IN.
This will just urge the bully to continue. Identify ways for your child to respond to bullying such as showing assertive but not aggressive behavior. Use role-playing to strengthen the lessons you want him to learn. Explain to your child how to hold his anger and be more patient when faced with the situation.
(First published in Good Housekeeping, June 2009; photo source: sxc.hu )