No parent ever wants to see his or her child in distress. Therefore, when a parent discovers that his or her child is being bullied, emotions can run very high. Many parents have the first instinct to want to call up the mother or father of the bully and put an end to the problem right then and there. However, this is something that should be saved as a last resort. It is important for parents to support their children, but it is even more important that they empower children to resolve a bullying problem on their own. Learn how to avoid bullying the right way.
How to Avoid Bullying
Often times, the best way to end bullying is to simply avoid it. Of course, this is sometimes more easily said than done, as some bullies will go out of their way to taunt or hassle another defenseless child. Still, there are some basic tips that children of all ages can keep in mind as a way of avoiding bullying in a variety of circumstances, such as:
- At school
- On the playground
- On the Internet
Bullying most often takes place at school, where children from varying backgrounds are forced to co-exist with each other under the same roof. Naturally, cliques tend to form within schools, which can leave some children feeling isolated or left out. These are the children who are most often bullied. Therefore, one of the best ways to go about avoiding bullying in school is for the child to find other friends and to travel with those friends in groups. This includes while walking in the hallways, at lunch, and even at recess (if the child is at an age where recess still occurs). Often times, bullies will leave another child alone if they see that he or she is traveling with a larger group.
In the event that a bully does catch the child alone, the child should be taught to do his or her best to ignore the bully’s comments. It can be helpful for the child to repeat motivational phrases in his or her head, such as “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” However, if the bullying ever becomes too much for the child to handle or physical confrontation ever occurs, children should seek out an adult to report the incident. This should be reported to a school staff member such as a teacher or a principal. These days, bullying is taken extremely seriously in schools. In some cases, a child may not feel comfortable with reporting the incident to a teacher or principal; in such a situation, the child should be encouraged to report it to a parent, and the parent should then be responsible for taking action with the school itself.
Social networking is more popular now than ever before, and most children have some sort of online presence on at least one social media site. Unfortunately, these sites have also become targets for bullies looking to pick on another person from the comfort and safety of their own computers. Cyber bullying may involve making fun of the child via e-mail or chat, making threats to the child, or otherwise making him or her feel uncomfortable.
According to eHow.com, the best way for a child to avoid cyber bullying is to make his or her online accounts as private as possible. This means only adding “friends” that the child (and the parent) know personally and altering one’s privacy settings so that other people cannot see or post on his or her profile. In the event that the child is bullied online, he or she should be encouraged to report it immediately to parents. From there, the parent should take a screen capture of the bullying for future reference. Often times, printing out a chat log where a child was bullied and then presenting it to his or her school principal is a good way to handle it. Most schools are happy to handle these issues, even if the bullying itself occurred off of school grounds. Ultimately, schools want to maintain a peaceful environment that is conducive to learning and success.
Dealing with bullying in or out of school can be a real hassle for parents and children alike. While there does come a point where a child should put his or her foot down, it is generally best to avoid the source of bullying as much as possible. Often times, this eventually results in the bully giving up and leaving the child alone. However, physical confrontation is never something that any child should have to face, so if it ever gets to that point, the child should always be instructed to protect him or herself and report the bully’s behavior to an adult as soon as possible.