The Tender Years and Bully Prevention

Happy Monday and second day of July, friends. We’re working on staying cool here in the East–something the Midwest has been dealing with for well over a week already. 

My son’s girlfriend took this shot and created this lovely mirror effect in her photography class. I thought it was awesome enough to post! You go, girl!

Back to blogging! Chances are I’ll run this post again when school re-opens. The topic of bullying has gained a lot of attention in the past year, especially with all the newly imposed anti-bullying mandates on the American education system.

Summary:  Psychotherapist, Author and Positive Living Expert Diane Lang lays out six steps parents can take to help prevent bullying (starting at preschool age).  

Bio: Diane Lang offers expertise on a variety of health and wellness topics about creating balance and finding happiness through positive living. As an expert in her field of therapy, Lang has been interviewed for numerous magazine and newspaper articles and has been a frequent guest on radio and TV shows including “Fox & Friends” on the Fox News Network. Lang is a monthly contributor for “Family Beautiful” magazine, a weekly columnist for MommyTalk.com, a regular featured expert on the “Expat Show” broadcasted weekly on the New York ABC affiliate WTBQ-AM.

Turns out she’s a good friend too! Here are Diane’s thoughts on the topic of bullying:

The recent news story about the grandmother being bullied by kids on the bus struck a cord with all of us. Parents play a huge role in the prevention of bullying. If a child doesn’t know how to express themselves they will become frustrated, angry and act out either towards themselves or others. Here are six steps for parents to take to help prevent bullying:

1.   Teach kids to express themselves and let them know it’s okay to do so. Teach your kids that emotions such as fear, sadness and anger are normal.  What makes them bad is when you internalize your emotions or take them out on others such as bullying. You can teach kids about emotions as early as preschool – ages 3 or 4.

2.   As the parent, be the role model. Do not bully your kids, others and don’t bully each other. If kids are seeing bullying in the household, they will think it’s okay.

3.   If your child is the bully make sure there are consequences for their behavior both at school and home.

  •  The consequences must be specific to your child. If you say no TV but your child isn’t interested in TV it won’t work. Punishment and discipline are very important BUT remember discipline is also showing love.
  • There also has to be consistency with discipline and punishment. The promise of punishment and not sticking to it shows your child they can get away with the bad behavior and they will keep continuing the bad behavior.
  •  Finally, make sure you let your child know that bullying is never acceptable behavior. Go over all actions/behaviors they show that could be considered bullying so they understand. We are seeing bullying at younger ages even in preschool and elementary school.

4.  Teach your kids kindness, respect towards themselves and others, empathy, patience, warmth, caring, etc. They can learn these traits. These traits lead to healthy behavior.

5.  Get your kids involved in volunteer work and community activities. When kids learn to help others
at a young age it causes a few things: Instant boost of happiness, respect for themselves and others plus it raises self-esteem. It also teaches diversity. So again, you’re helping your child to see that everyone is different and that is okay!

6.   Keep an open dialogue with your child. Good communication is key. If you have a good relationship with your child, they will come to you if they are getting bullied.

  • Go over ways your child can handle a bully.
  • Always let your child know it’s not their fault they are being bullied. Empower your child by building them up.
  • Always work on building your child’s self-esteem. Let your child know how proud you are of them. Praise them, listen to them and show them lots of love!

Visit www.dlcounseling.com for more information or contact Tasha at pr@dlcounseling.com

Special thanks to Diane for all her wonderful contributions to this blog! As always, I thank each of you for your virtual visits. If you please, take a moment to click one of the SHARE buttons below and help spread the word on this sensitive topic? 

Have a great day and rest of the week,

Joanna

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2 thoughts on “The Tender Years and Bully Prevention

  1. So glad you posted on this topic. I get frustrated by the naysayers who say that the whole “bullying thing” is “overblown.” It isn’t, and it can result in tragic outcomes as we’ve all seen. As always, it gets back to parenting and role modeling. We can’t expect teachers to do it all. As difficult as parenting is, it needs to never stop, and the same topics need to be revisited time and again as children age, each discussion increasing in developmental complexity.

    Nice post.

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  2. Diane gets credit for the post, but I agree with you, Carrie, especially re: parenting being a continuum. Hopefully, assuming our kids are growing and changing as their lives’ journeys progress, we’ll be helping them through each of the stages life presents. That also means we’ll be challenged as parents to rise to a new level.

    I also am a firm believer in ‘the village.’ I tell all my kids’ friends the same thing: when you’re in my house I’m your parent too. I spend a lot of time consciously opening up channels of communication with all the kids here. It’s too important for each and every one of them to have an adult s/he can trust. My kids have great friends, but some of the parenting I’ve been exposed to makes me wonder way more than I should.

    Geez, now you’ve got me all philosophical like… As always, THANKS! 😉

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