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How to help your kids deal with bullies -- or with being one

Helpful tips to make dealing with a bully easier

by Lylah M. Alphonse  |  7660 views  |  2 comments  |      Rate this now! 

Is your child being a bully?

To spot whether your child has bully tendencies, parents should:

1.) Find out if aggressive behavior exhibited by their child at home, occurs while he/she is at school. 

2.) Question his complaints about being treated unfairly when he is the aggressor.

3.) Discuss bullying with your child to make sure he/she understands when someone is committing acts of bullying.

4.) Be aware of his relationship with siblings at home.  How does he get along with other family members?  How does he treat family pets?

5.) Participate in classroom, lunch area, and playground activities paying close attention to how your child interacts with his peers. Be a school volunteer.

6.) Be aware of what your child takes to school and what he brings home.  Does he come home with clothing and other items that do not belong to him?  Does he bring home excess money that can’t be explained?

7.) Inquire about cuts and bruises, torn or disarranged clothing when your child comes home from school. 

8.) Ask for a conference with his teacher to see if he has difficulty getting along with his classmates.

About the Author

Lylah M. Alphonse is a journalist, blogger, and mom and stepmom to five kids. She is a Senior Editor at Yahoo! Shine, writes about juggling full-time career and parenthood at The 36-Hour Day here at Work It, Mom!, and blogs about everything else at Follow her on Twitter: @WriteEditRepeat.

Read more by Lylah M. Alphonse

2 comments so far...

  • It helps to start by teaching your child that everyone desearves to be treated respectfully. It helps to ask them to put themselves in the persons shoes that is getting bullied. If it would make you feel bad then it shouldn't be happening and maybe stepping in and saying stop or going for help to stop what is happening is advisable depending on the situation.
    I've raised my children to stick up for the underdog-always, and my children have. They have befriended nearly every person group or click in school. Be nice to everyone, they may return the favor one day. Befriend everyone. Realize the rich spoiled snobby popular people only back one another because they are too afraid to be an individual-they may stand out- they don't like standing out, at least, not alone, so they all act the same. It's funny, it's like a game of follow the leader or quail following every turn and movement the one in front of it made.
    It's important your children understand that it's okay to be different, be yourself and own it. Help your child grow into a responsible person by teaching them to help when the need arises. I've seen this come back to my daughter, when she needed it, help was there.

    Recognizing it, is altogether different, and every child reacts differently. Ultimately there willl be sort of behavior change, they may become withdrawn, depressed, sullen, angry, defensive, cry alot, have dirt or grass stains all over, cuts and bruises torn clothing, missing clothing, teeth knocked loose or out. Personal belongings may be gone or missing and not return home with them. They may be ravenous when returning home from school, if they have lunch money or lunch taken from them. They may start calling names or becoming abusive themselves. They may feigh illness and not want to go to school. They may stop doing homework. Any difference in behavior should be a key to any parent that it's time to initiate open conversation with thier child. They may spout off that they hate so and so or hate this or that. Know your child and listen. They may start to say something and then hesitate and not finish, they may become clingy afraid to tell you what is happening. They may make it into a joke, or tell it as if it's happening to someone else to see your reaction.

    Self esteem to become bully proof? Ah- we have brains , why don't we use them?, comes to mind.
    It's okay to teach your child that getting bullied is wrong and they have the right to say STOP! Knock It off! Leave Me alone! Help! Yell Fire! and protect themselves by pushing an attacker away. It's okay to defend themselves within a reasonable limit. I've watched a bully back off when my son put his fists up to the bully and say" You want to fight?" "Then lets fight!" Sometimes calling their bluff works wonders.
    It's also okay to attempt to respond with witty jest or joke or compliment which can throw a bully off gaurd, not knowing how to respond, and therefore will leave you alone. It may take several attempts at this. Or attempts at making conversation, questions like? Do you feel so badly about yourself you feel the need to pick on/hurt me? Your child needs to learn skills to outthink the bully.
    There's a reason this kid-or bully is doing this. They have esteem problems themselves or a bad home life, inferiority complex, something that causes this behavior. Your child needs to understand it's not him/her that has it rough all alone, and that the bully is behaving that way for a reason. find out the reason, and you find out how to address the problem.

    Sometimes there's no fixing a kid that is the spitting image of a parent. You can't fix stupid.

    Perhaps, I should have written this article, punctuation, spelling and grammar aside, I adressed the actual question with a corresponding answer. I love writting, and I just warmed up. LOL

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Just Me on 22nd March 2010

  • The article title was misleading. It tells us how to know whether your child is being bullied or is a bully, but offers no tips to help them.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Stickers on 25th February 2010