Bullying is a topic that is getting a lot of attention these days, yet I often hear from parents that they don’t know how to have the discussion about bullying with their kids.
Here are some tips on how to talk to your kids about bullying.
- Set an example – As a parent we have to be careful about how we treat others. Do we talk bad about someone behind their backs or swear at the driver in front of us if they are driving a little too slow? Our children see and hear and model our behavior. We cannot expect our children to act better than we do.
- Have time for daily conversation – We live in a time where being busy is the norm. It is important to set aside time to talk to our children. Whether it’s having the music off on the drive to school or the grocery store, eating dinner together as a family with no electronics at the table, or going for a walk together, carving out time to talk together is important. If we cannot have everyday conversations with our children, how can we expect our kids to talk to us about more serious conversations?
- Ask questions – Parents often want to solve problems for their children. When talking about bullying, ask your children what they think they should do about a situation and help them come up with ideas of how they could deal with bullying, whether they are seeing someone being bullied in the hallway or they themselves are being bullied. Our children need to know that we are behind them, supporting them and helping them learn how to deal with these tough situations. (Of course, as parents it is our job to take notice if bullying has gone too far. We need to be willing to step in to protect our kids).
- Be involved – Volunteer at your child’s school, attend your child’s sporting/extracurricular events if you can. Knowing the children that are a part of your child’s life can help open the door to more communication about bullying.
We don’t want our children to be bullied, and we don’t want our children to bully others, yet sadly bullying has become a serious problem in our world today. There is no perfect formula on talking with our children about bullying, but these tips can help you keep that door to communication open.