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How to Encourage Your Child to Speak Out Against Bullying

Helicopter Parents

Good communication can help parents and children establish a close relationship that will last a lifetime. As a parent, you can encourage your child to communicate with you by being a good listener and showing him or her that you care. You may not always agree with everything your children do or say, but you can show your love by trying to understand and respect their point of view. This is especially important as your children grow older into pre-teens and adolescents and you need to teach them to Speak Out Against Bullying!

Listening is a skill that parents need to cultivate even from the time their children are small. Little children are generally quite open about their thoughts and feelings and freely communicate with whoever will listen. As children grow older, they sometimes become more selective in whom they talk to due to fear of being ridiculed, laughed at or maligned. Parents who want to remain close to their children as they grow will need to develop good listening skills and show a genuine concern for what’s happening in their children’s lives. The key to maintaining a close relationship with your kids and keeping the lines of communication open is to give them undivided attention and time.

Speak Out Against Bullying : Keys to Good Communication

Because we live in a fast paced world, time is a scarce commodity. Yet that is exactly what is needed to foster close family relationships and open, honest communication. In many families today, the television set, computer games and videos have replaced the quality time parents should be spending with their children. When parents work full time, it can be very difficult juggling career and family obligations.

Parents who put their profession before their family run the risk of their children becoming distant and non-communicative. The less time you spend together, the less you have to talk about. Over time, the lines of communication begin to close until they eventually cease to exist.

Children need some time every day to connect with their parents and tell them what is happening in their lives. Most kids are natural talkers; they love to expound on their experiences at school, time spent with friends, new activities they are learning, etc. Younger children, in particular, have little trouble sharing what’s going on in their little lives. They readily seek someone who will listen and show interest in their activities. They’re also quite happy when parents give their approval for doing something right or achieving some goal.

One way parents can convey love for their children is listening to them, sharing in their experiences and giving them the approval and acceptance they need. Your children will remember the times you took out of your busy schedule to spend with them. These times will be etched into their memories as a demonstration of your love and care. As they grow older, they’ll feel they can rely on you when they need help to solve a problem or encouragement to carry on.

Speak Out Against Bullying : How to Foster Open Communication

As your children become preteens and teens, they may face difficulties in school or with their peers. Today’s urban junior and senior high school environments can be quite difficult for kids to maneuver due to problems with drugs, alcohol, student conflicts, lack of discipline, bullying, etc. Even kids who were good students in lower grades can find themselves struggling against negative peer pressure in high school and succumbing to adverse mindsets, attitudes and behavior.

If you have built a close relationship with your children when they were young, there is a good chance that you can keep the line of communication open during the turbulent preteen and teen years. Most young teens go through a period of rebellion and confusion due to physical and emotional changes in their lives. Outwardly, they can be quite stubborn and willful, resisting parental help and guidance. Inwardly, however, they are often insecure and fearful and looking for someone to help them find their way.

Teens need someone to listen to their problems and help them sort out the physical and emotional conflicts they are going through. As a parent, you can fill that role. You can encourage your child to communicate by giving them your undivided attention and being there for them when they need you most. You can help alleviate any pressure or fear your teens are going through your personal assurance of help and support.

Getting your teen to speak out about their problems is perhaps one of the hardest challenges facing parents today. Young teens, in particular, often resent parents interfering in their lives once they reach a certain age. In their effort to be independent and self reliant, teens often try to handle problems on their own. Their lone efforts often lead them to making unwise decisions with negative repercussions for years to come.

As children transition into teens, parents need to learn how to interact and communicate with them on their level. Teens can no longer be treated as little children who are told what to do and expected to obey. They are young adults that need your friendship and support. Your friendship will go a long ways towards fostering trust in a young teen’s heart, making it easy for open and honest communication to flow.

Speak Out Against Bullying: How Parental Influence Can Hinder Communication

Sometimes parents share the blame for teens’ lack of communication and trust. Parents that are extremely overbearing and manipulative leave little room for teens to make personal decisions and grow. They treat their teens as if they were still children who need to do as they’re told. This relationship hinders the free flow of communication and tears down a teen’s confidence and self esteem. Teens who lack self confidence and self esteem are often victims of bullying and cyberbullying tactics.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, some parents are too permissive, letting their teens do pretty much as they please. Teens that grow up in this environment lack restraint and self control. They have little sense of right and wrong, and do not have set standards or values to guide them. These teens see no point in open communication as they have little respect for the opinion of others. Many times teens who fall in this category are the perpetrators of bullying tactics as they try to force others to do what they are told.

Scroll down for more on how to Speak Out Against Bullying

Parenting is perhaps one of the hardest jobs in the world with no guarantees that everything will turn out well in the end. However, this should not discourage you from loving and caring for your kids and raising them as best as you can. Children need all the love and guidance they can get and as a parent, it is your responsibility and duty to provide them with that support. Your patience, wisdom, understanding, conviction and love will help shape and mold your children’s lives as they grow. They will learn to rely on you for strength and encouragement, especially when difficulties arise. This will enable them to share their problems with you and speak out when they have need.

By striking a balance in your parenting techniques, your kids will have both boundaries and freedom in their personal growth. You will lay a solid foundation of respect and trust that makes it easy for your kids to communicate with you and you with them. Their trust in you will also make them more willing to listen to what you have to say as they know you have their best interest at heart. Teach them the right way to Speak Out Against Bullying!

Learn more on how to talk to Children about Bullying and how to teach them to Speak Out Against Bullying!

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