Unfortunately, we hear all too often the stories of kids being bullied at school, online, and elsewhere. Bullying can give kids permanent emotional scars. Some kids can get through bullying, while others don’t get through it as easily. As parents, there are things we can do to help build resilience in kids to help them get through tough times.
1. Build Acceptance at Home
Feeling comfortable with who you are often starts with home. No matter how kids are different from you or kids at school, they need to feel accepted to be comfortable in their own skin.
2. Change the Narrative
Matt Langdon, a bullying expert, tells parents and teachers to help kids understand they’re the main character of their story, and bullying is only a part of it.
The hero’s journey, according to UC Berkeley, is a tale where a hero goes on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and comes home changed or transformed. You can use books such as “Harry Potter,” “Wizard of Oz,” “The Mists of Avalon,” or “Ender’s Game” to talk to your child about what happens on the hero’s journey.
Such books can help you tell kids that heroes learn, and rise, from their struggles. If books aren’t their thing, parents can watch a young adult romance adventure or superhero movie to learn from similar themes.
3. Get Your Child to Think of Solutions
This is a great way to get kids to start problem solving when they’re young. It will help them when they’re adults and can help them get through hard times. Talk to you child about what they can do, but let them offer solutions. Discuss the pros and cons of each option. Let them choose the best course. This will let your child know you believe in them and that they can trust their own decisions.
4. Turn Weaknesses into Strengths
Oftentimes, if kids can look at what a bully thinks is a weakness as a strength, the bully loses power. The “nerdy” kids grow up to be coders, inventors, engineers. Kids who dress differently may become the next best fashion designer. Teach them to be confident in themselves and that being different will always draw attention, especially in middle school.
One bully expert states that kids should list things they dislike about themselves, and then you can help them see the upside of each trait. Help them embrace who they are, and they’re likely to find a friend who can accept them for who they are. Have them practice using eye contact when talking and looking confident through eye contact and strong posture.
5. Find Activities and Like-Minded Friends
Building resilience can start with an activity that builds confidence, leadership, and give your child a much-needed sensory output. Kids can find friendship through activities.
Our karate school in East Mesa focuses on teaching kids to persevere, focus, discipline, control, and self confidence, among other things.
6. Think Before You Speak
Talk to you kids everyday, but don’t ask questions like, “Were the kids mean to you at school today?” Those types of yes or no questions box you into a corner where you may lose the opportunity to really talk to them if they say no. Keep questions open ended, and focus more on the positive side, instilling hope.
Find uplifting videos about kids who were bullied but who are now making a difference in the world.
Learn From Our American Kenpo Instructors in East Mesa
We can’t keep other kids from bullying your child, but we can help your child learn coping mechanisms, such as confidence, problem solving, and turning weaknesses into strengths. To learn more about our program, call us 480-986-7177 or fill out our online form.