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Dealing with bullying: Always take it seriously

09-Mar-2015

Bullying in school is on the rise.
 Bullying can take many forms: from malicious teasing, name-calling, making threats, spreading rumours, sending nasty notes or text messages, to pushing, shoving and fighting
Bullying is never the target's fault. However there are things children and teens can do to stop 'helping' the bully:
•    Practice confident body language and communication.
Some kids walk in and look like they have a victim mentality written all over them.
•    Know how to brush off insults rather than absorb them.
Teach your child to be ‘street smart’, if there are bullies at school then stay with friends while in threatening areas.
Rehearse verbal 'come backs' - e.g. saying things like;
•    “That’s a ‘put down’ and I don’t like it”.
•    "That's lame" or
•    "I want to be friends with you but not if you say things like that to me."
Always listen to your kids, empathise and help them think of options other than walking away or hitting back.
Write down information when your child shares. This tells them you are taking it seriously.

Encourage them to handle the situation themselves first, but offer support if it continues.  If it escalates to physical threats or assault involve professionals: school, police and counselling. 
I love the mothers who when their children’s school won’t do anything about bulling stood outside the school gate in a group asking kids as they left: “Are you the school Bully?’
Very effective!
Remember debrief your kids each day round the meal table and in bed at night.
Make sure they know you’re on their side.