Teaching your child about bullying can be very challenging, especially if you don’t know enough yourself. However, you’ll be struck by the necessity with which you’ll have to prepare your young ones for the big ugly world out there, to stand up for themselves, and to know how to deal with a bully. Books can be your go-to method, but picking the right book is critical. This is why parents should be familiar with what makes a good bullying book and what doesn’t. Bullying books can also construct a great guide for children. At a young age explaining complicated concepts on good and evil would be made easier with a story or a coloring book. So how do you choose the perfect bullying book?
Look at the Topics Covered
Bullying is a broad topic with many categories and subcategories. Make sure you’re fully aware of what you want out of a bullying book. Knowing the kind of information you or your child specifically needs to read will help you pick the right book. Choose a book that covers a range of relevant topics or addresses a particular problem you’re not capable of finding a solution for yourself.
Another important point to keep in mind is the depth. Some situations require in-depth information, studies, and psychological backgrounds. Other situations would be best addressed with a novel, a morale, or a few pieces of advice. Make sure you know well if the book takes a deep approach to the problem or a slightly on-the-surface outlook.
Make Sure It Provides Solutions
Bullying books may or may not provide solutions. If you’re after learning, solutions might not be what you’re looking for. And you’d be happy with an informative book or novel on the definition and consequences of bullying. But if you’re looking for a solution or an approach to deal with a particular type of bullying, or rather expert opinions on how to deal with a bullied son or daughter, then you’d need to find a book that provides solutions. Professional well-studied solutions can be vital. Without them, you might be handling the issue the wrong way, making it worse, or neglecting the areas where most of the harm takes place.
The solutions the book should be providing should be non-violent in nature. You’d want to establish in your child an instinctive rejection of violence. While you shouldn’t always go with the “turn the other cheek” solution, you also should never advocate a violent reaction. Violent solutions not only would encourage your child to use violence in solving any issue that faces them as they grow older, but might also expose your child to the risk of provoking a bigger child into a 3 times more violent reaction.
There is also the question of implementation. Sometimes bullying books offer solutions that are so outrageous that the child or the parent cannot successfully implement them. So people need to consider the realistic inputs of the situation and choose the suitable solutions accordingly. What works in one situation might not work in the other. And what deters a bully might provoke another.
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Determine How Easy the Book Is to Read
Presentation is important. Some bullying books may offer great information but the wrapping would be too difficult to decipher. Since you need to be comfortable with what you’re reading, you’ll have to choose a writing style that both attracts you to read and makes absorbing the information easier. If the book is using big words that are large and hard for adults to pronounce, it will probably be unsuitable for kids and teens. If you’re choosing a book for your child, make sure it has an interesting plot and is easy and enjoyable to read.
To determine if the book is easy to read and the information flows nicely, you could check how organized are the chapters. A quick look at the table of contents could help you with your decision. Organized chapters can help the reader understand a very big issue then move to learn some more about their specific part of the issue. If the information in the book is disorderly, it might be confusing or too general to help you.
Checking the contents before purchasing the book would also give you a good idea on the topics discussed. When it comes to bullying books, always go for something specific and easy to relate to that addresses the specific problem your child is suffering from. Reading chapter names or chapter summaries is very advisable.
Make Sure It Is Age-Appropriate
For a book to address the correct issue, the correct solutions, and the correct mindset, it has to first address the correct age period. Part of choosing a good effective bullying book or novel solely relies on age-appropriateness. What a 4-year old would enjoy would bore an 8-year old. And what an 11-year old would find beneficial will sound outdated for a teenager.
Younger kids would, for example, enjoy a fable: a story where animals talk and act like humans. One such story is The Ant Bully, where a child who was always bullied by the neighborhood bully uses his frustration to bully the ants because they are smaller and weaker. The child then is attacked by the ants and is confronted by the ants queen who informs him of all the harm he caused without even noticing. The ants later help the child to execute revenge on the bully.
Older kids would enjoy a more complicated story line or a realistic scenario based on what they face at school everyday. Teens would enjoy Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass: a young adult novel on school bullying and how it can change a student’s lives. The novel is both realistic and emotionally intense, something that makes it very relatable to teens. As a parent, it is important to also introduce your much younger kids to what bullying is. Use coloring or pictures books in this case.
When your child comes forward and finally admits to you why they have been trying to avoid school the past few days, you must be prepared. You must be strong and supportive and know exactly what to say and how to help. Seeking advice and help from a book can save the day, especially if you never had a first-hand experience with the subject. You can browse online for bullying books with good reviews or you can look for something more specific for your child’s situation. It is also vital that you educate your children early on what bullying entails. They must be capable of distinguishing between bullying and harmless play among friends. Grow a healthy confident strong child who can stand up against bullying and would always jump to help a friend in need.
Your child is the bully? Learn how to steer your child away from violence!