Teaching Kids not to bully can be quite a challenge. Let’s face it, as a child you have been taught to lie to protect yourself, be a pain in the butt, and be the weaker partner in every argument. I am sure there were good reasons for all of that. I’m also sure there were times when those things would get you down, but it is time for our kids to learn that they are the only ones accountable for their actions and they have to face the consequences when they choose to bully others.
The first step to ensuring that your child understands the difference between right and wrong behavior is to make sure that you have clear expectations for behavior. A firm “no” is more likely to be followed than an ambiguous “okay”. Some people believe that your child will understand the difference sooner or later and that’s true. Some other parents see their children as little more than temperamental troublemakers so they don’t stress the issue too much and leave it up to the child to decide if he wants to participate in the activities and programs that you have set up.
Once your child knows that saying “no” will get him or her in trouble then they can decide on their own whether or not they want to participate. If they do then you need to reinforce that decision by assigning tasks and making sure they understand how much they are expected to do. Don’t get into a heated discussion with them about why they didn’t ask to be picked last or why they can’t jump the tallest object. Just take action by setting reasonable expectations in a way that they can understand. If you have a difficult or confrontational situation you need to take the lead and be the one to respond by teaching your child not to bully others. By acting like a victim and trying to get others to act like victims you actually set yourself up to become the bully.
Another important thing to remember is that when you are teaching kids not to be bullies you must also teach them how not to be a bully. If you are holding a grudge against someone and they ever ask your child to put them in a certain position or do something mean to them then you must show them how not to do it. This will instill in your child the notion that they are accountable for their actions and that they must make it clear that they won’t get praise or a hand up if they hurt someone else. If they do then your actions should be a reminder to them that they must treat others with respect. This will go far in preventing them from escalating their bullying behavior.
Finally, in addition to teaching kids not to be bullies, you should also teach them how to deal with being picked on and how to stand up for themselves when they are getting bullied. A lot of times children will do the exact same thing when they are being picked on by another person. This only fuels the fire and makes the bullying situation worse.
The best way to accomplish this goal is to use tools that are readily available. One such tool that can help you with the goal of teaching kids not to be bullies is called the bully sticks. This is a simple device that has an extendable end. You simply hold the end of the stick in your hand and use it to deliver a small shock to the other person who is a bully. This small shock helps teach your child that they shouldn’t even think of bullying another person because the stick can hurt them. It’s amazing what a few short shocks will do.
Another way to teach your kids not to be bullies is to demonstrate to them how to handle their strong emotions. Most kids have the ability to handle strong emotions. However, most kids are not strong enough to handle their strong emotions when they are being bullied. Try asking your kids to raise their hands if they need to say something. Show them that you support them and that you want them to be successful.
Finally, the best way to stop bullying others is to make sure that they know who is a bully and who isn’t. Let them know what bullying others look like. Let them know what bullying looks like and how to stop it. Make sure that they know what it feels like to be called a name-calling, bully, or hater. Teach your children not to name-call other kids and let them know not to call other kids names. These are just some simple steps that can go a long way towards helping your child learn to handle their strong emotions and not be a bully.