3 BULLY PROOF TIPS THAT WORK
3 Bully Proof Tips that work
1. Listen and gather facts. The first step is often the hardest for parents: listen to your child’s entire story without interrupting. Your goal is to try to figure to out what happened, who was involved, where and when the teasing took place, and why your child was teased. Unfortunately, teasing is a part of growing up, but some kids seem to get more than their fair share of insults.
2. Teach a bully-proofing strategy. What may work with one child may not with another, so it’s best to discuss a range of options and then choose the one or two your child feels most comfortable with. Here are five of the most successful strategies experts say help kids defend themselves:
• Assert yourself. Teach your child to face the bully standing tall and using a strong voice. Then name the bullying behavior and tell him to stop doing it: “That’s teasing. Stop it,” or “Stop making fun of me. It’s mean. Cut it out.”
• Question the response. Respond to an insult with a nondefensive question: “Why would you say that?” or “Why would you want to tell me I am dumb (or fat) and hurt my feeling?”
• Use “I want.” Teach your child to address the bully beginning with “I” and then say the problem and what she wants to happen, i.e. “I want you to leave me alone,” or “I want you to stop teasing me.”
• Agree with the teaser. Consider helping your child create a statement agreeing with the teaser. Teaser: “You’re dumb.” Child: “Yeah, but I’m good at it.” or Teaser: “Hey, four eyes.” child: “You’re right, my eyesight is poor.”
• Ignore it. Bullies love it when their teasing upsets their victims, so help your child find a way to not let their tormentor get to them.
3. Rehearse the strategy with your child. Once you choose a technique, rehearse it so your child is comfortable trying it. The trick is for your child to practice it, so he can deliver it assuredly to the bully. Explain that though he has the right to feel angry, it’s not okay to let it get out of control. Besides, anger just fuels the bully. Try the CALM approach with your child:
Cool down. When you confront the bully stay calm and in control. Don’t let him think he’s getting to you. If you need to calm down, count to 20 slowly inside your head or say to yourself, “chill out.”
Assert yourself. Try the strategy with the bully just like you practiced.
Look at the teaser straight in the eye. Appear confident, hold your head high and stand tall.
Mean it! Use a firm, strong voice. Say what you feel but don’t be insulting, threaten or tease back.
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