Bully-proofing your child

Did you know that bullying behavior is starting as early as preschool and Kindergarten? According to this article:http://www.parents.com/kids/problems/bullying/bul…

Young kids are imitating their older siblings, parents, and what they see on TV. Kids as young as 2 years old are showing indicators of becoming bullies. I was astonished by this fact. Sure, all toddlers go through the 'terrible twos' but the author of this article says that this goes farther then that. At the preschool age children are developing to push their boundaries and it's natural for them to tease or grab other kids. However, without proper guidance in these situations this can turn into a serious bullying situation. By Kindergarten children grasp the concept of social power among peers and will use emotional, physical, and social bullying to assert their power.

I think The best part about this article is the tips they give to both keep your kid from being bullied and to keep them from becoming a bully. Most of these can be implemented as young as 3 years old!

To help your child avoid being bullied:
• Tell your child to practice looking at the color of her friends' eyes and to do the same thing when she's talking to a child who's bothering her.
• Practice a script your child can say if someone is bothering him without whining or crying. It can be as simple as "Stop bothering me!", "I'm not going to play with you if you act mean.", or "Yeah, whatever," and then walking away.
• Praise progress. When your child tells you how she defused a harasser, let her know you're proud.
• Overall, help you kid understand that if they act like the bully's tactics don't bother them they will usually move on.

To help keep your child from BECOMING a bully you really have to be proactive. No one wants to think that they're perfect baby could be a bully but you have to consider the possibility. If your child shows any one of the following characteristics you may need to do some anti-bullying parenting:

• She's impulsive and gets very angry quickly.
• He takes out his frustration by hitting or pushing other kids.
• She hangs out with other kids who behave aggressively.
• He fights bitterly or physically with his siblings.
• She has difficulty understanding how her actions affect others.
• He gets into trouble at school frequently

If your child is at risk for being a bully the article suggests: "have him practice techniques, such as taking deep breaths or counting to ten, to help control his negative emotions. When you see your child acting in a hurtful way, tell him to stop, remove him from the situation, and then talk about what he can do instead next time. However, if your efforts don't make a dent in his behavior, ask your doctor to recommend an appropriate mental-health professional."

I think this was a great article. I loved that it actually explained techniques that are practical and easy to implement. Have you kids dealt with bullying? What age were they and how did you help them to handle it?

Moms Expertise
    Comment deleted
      It's so crazy - I thought for sure Audrey would be a bully because of the way she acts around the house with Mason and Hayden... but her school has told me that not only is she not the bully, she's one of the most passive children in the class. I can't decide if I am happy or not to have heard that news.

      Mason has already had to deal with someone at school. He had a little boy in his class that would always try to wrestle the other kids and Mason had no interest. We had no idea he was even dealing with it (despite ALWAYS asking how his day is) until he told us he had resolved it by telling the little boy "If you don't stop jumping on me and hitting me I'm going to stop being your friend and you won't be invited to my birthday party. I really like talking to you but I don't like when you play so rough." I was astounded that he handled it like this and we made a big deal over how big he was and what a great job he had done.
        8Theresa Gould
        Thanks for sharing. I hope our children never have to deal with bullying.
          Favorited--thanks for sharing! This is so very important, and I hope that now that the internet makes us all aware, we can all really start helping our kids to be kind to one another.
          About Taylor
          Current: Chanhassen, Minnesota
          Birth: July 26
          On Moms.com since: Dec 18, 2013
          I'm the proud mama of my daughter Avery, born on June 6, 2013. I'm 26 years old, I work from home as a graphic designer, I will be testing for my 5th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do in 2015. My husband, Derek, and I have been happily married for 3 years.