October is National Bullying Prevention month. Whether it’s physical, verbal or digital, bullying is a serious problem that can have a serious impact on your child’s well-being.
Youth crisis counselor and bullying expert Brooks Gibbs, who is currently serving as the national spokesman for Office Depot’s “Be The Difference. Speak Up Against Bullying!” program, shared these tips for how to deal with five types of bullying your child might encounter:
If the bullying is physical
You must rescue your child from physical threats of violence that would cause objective harm to his or her body or property. Keep detailed notes of the event and alert the authorities immediately.
If the bullying is verbal
You must teach your child to not get upset. If children have an emotional reaction to the bully like showing anger or tears, the verbal bullying will continue. If they don’t get upset, the verbal bullying will quickly stop.
If the bullying is online
You must teach your child how to respond using the Golden Rule, that is to treat everyone like friends, even your enemies. A brief and kind response will make the bully look and feel foolish, and the online bullying will quickly stop.
If the bullying involves social exclusion
You must help children to understand that not everyone will want to be their friend. When they can enjoy a few loyal friends and refuse to seek approval from everyone else, their life will become much happier.
If the bullying is from an adult
You must assist your child in confronting the adult in an attitude of respect and with a desire for reconciliation. Blaming or attacking the adult will only escalate hostilities and make things worse for your child. Respectful confrontation can quickly bring an end to the problem.