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Don’t Let Your Child Become a Bully! 7 Prevention Tips for Parents

Bullying is a growing problem, with bullying starting earlier – as early as kindergarten. Starting at a young age, there are ways you can prepare your children now so they don’t become bullies – or victims – later. Here are seven bully prevention tips for parents.

  1. Don’t Call it Bullying!   If your toddler grabs a toy from or is shoved by another toddler, don’t jump to the conclusion that either toddler is a bully, says psychotherapist Diane Lang.  Toddlers act on their impulses, and aren’t intentionally cruel.
  2. Display the Behavior You Want to See in Your Child.  Children learn through imitation and role modeling.  Think about what you say to your kids, and how you say it.  And when you don’t like your child’s behavior, explain why and how it could hurt other people.
  3. Use Different Media.  Read age-appropriate books with your child regularly and ask open-ended questions like “Why do you think that guy in the book was hurting her feelings?”  Watching TV shows like Sesame Street and Dora the Explorer is another great way to for kids to learn about diversity being okay.
  4. Volunteer Together.  If you get your kids involved outside the house and school in simple ways, you’ll be teaching them that people are not only different, but okay.  Your toddler can help with Meals on Wheels or volunteer for other community projects that help others.  You will be teaching them that other people have worth and deserve respect.
  5. Teach Social Skills.  It’s normal for toddlers to think that the world revolves around them.  Teaching them how to sharing and kind to others is a great way to help kids grow up with social success.  Preschool, play dates, and trips to the playground are all great ways for toddlers to learn social skills.
  6. Let The Kids Figure it Out.  Often, the reason kids bully is because they can’t express their feelings, and their parents don’t let them solve problems on their own.  When you teach your child that anger, frustration, and fear are all normal feelings as long as you don’t take them out on somebody else, and if you don’t solve every problem for your child, you’re teaching your child to handle those emotions on his or her own.  A child who can problem solve is less likely to bully.
  7. Teach Kids to Stand Up for Themselves.  If you can teach your child to be assertive, not aggressive, to assertively say “no” to a bully and then to walk away from the situation, your child will not be either a bully or a bully’s victim.  It’s also important to teach your child that
    “telling on” a bully to a parent or teacher is perfectly okay.

Source:  Revelant, Julie. “How to Teach Your Child about Bullying.” Fox News. FOX News Network, 08 Aug. 2012. Web. 15 Aug. 2012. <http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/08/08/how-to-teach-your-child-about-bullying/>.

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