We have made many strides in tolerance and consideration for others, both as a society and in our schoolyards.
But human nature and normal child development dictate that despite our best efforts, there will still be bullies and victims.
The world is full of them, and our schoolyards are no exception. That’s why teaching children to deal with these individuals is an important life lesson.
The best way to safeguard your children from becoming victims of a schoolyard bully is to teach them how to be assertive.
Encourage children to express their feelings clearly and to say “no” when they feel pressured or uncomfortable in a situation.
Show them how to stand up for themselves verbally, without fighting. And make sure they know to walk away in dangerous situations. Bullies are less likely to intimidate children who are confident and resourceful.
Here are some good ideas for parents:
• Teach your children early to recognize — and then steer clear of — children who show bullying behavior.
• Teach them to be assertive rather than aggressive or violent when confronted by a bully. They should say “no” or state how they feel as a simple fact, with no “attitude” attached.
• Make sure they know not to threaten others in any way. It is also very important for them to know how to walk away without hesitation when it seems that danger might be present.