Unfortunately, no one gets through their tween or teen years without facing a bit of bullying. It seems that we all face it--just to different degrees and for varying lengths of time. Some kids seem to be a bit more adept at handling it. Maybe they are just lucky or perhaps they have learned some skills.
We all want to protect our kids from bullying. Here is a starter list of ideas. Together perhaps we can lengthen and flesh out this list.
What to Teach Your Kids about Bullying:
1. Talk to them about bullying before they face it so they will know that you expect it to happen at some point. Let them know that you will support them and not be ashamed of them when they tell you stories of being teased or bullied.
2. Do NOT tell them to ignore the bully. This is impossible for any of us. Instead, suggest that they disengage by walking to a new spot where there are other people if they can. They need to have a feeling of control.
3. If possible, they can try to use humor to deflect the insults. This may both confuse the bully and diffuse the situation somewhat.
4. Walk around with a friend. Having even one friend may provide great social protection. If your child doesn't have a friend help him/her make one.
5. Put parameters on your child's use of electronic technology. They are less likely to be cyber-bullied if they spend less time in cyberspace.
6. Teach them to unplug and disconnect electronically if they are being bothered.
7. If they are fearful then they should seek out the help of an adult. No child or person of any age should struggle silently.