4 Tips to Empower Your Child if They are getting Bullied

Do you ever find yourself waiting in the car in anticipation when fetching your child from school, wondering how your child’s day went, will they reach the car in tears, or will they be okay today?

 

Here are 4 Tips to empower your child if they are getting bullied

  1. The Car Conversation

When our children arrive upset, all we want to do is make them feel better, we want to find out what happened, we want to find a way to fix it. Then we will feel better too. I know that feeling well, I have been there. The thing is what our children really need is for us to be accepting of them in that moment! When they feel accepted by you even when they are feeling sad, it makes all the difference. Try next time to consciously not seek a result or change, just acknowledge them and that is all. Hey yes, I can see it had been a tough day! And give them a hug AND THAT IS ALL – no conversations, no questions, just be there in acceptance of. We can have the longer conversation later. Chances are you may get one of 2 responses: 1. They will get angry or 2. They will feel settled and even if they don’t immediately, be accepting of them until they do. If they get angry, chances are they have developed a sense that you need to fix it and now that you are not doing that, they wont like it, but that is okay because it is a starting point to building their responsibility in the situation. When they feel settled, your acceptance has built rapport with them and that will support you in your later conversations

  1. The After Conversations

These conversations never happen in the moment of upset or fear or when they are under pressure to take action. Find moments when your children feel calm and in connection with you to have these conversations.

Build Their Sense of Self

Focus on developing how they see themselves. This can be done in lots of small conversations DAILY, in all aspects of their life. It needs to become an automatic way of communicating with them. 

  • Find moments when they feel good and ask them how do you feel? This draws an association between their brain and their feeling and forms a frame of reference of feeling good. The more often you do it, the bigger the frame of reference
  • Ask their opinions about situations separate from themselves. Allow them their perspective, ask them questions. It is not about whether their perspective is good or not, it is about their feeling that you are hearing their perspective
  • In moments when they don’t feel good, acknowledge them and be accepting of it. This can be tough for parents, but it is a very important step. When we don’t take responsibility for their upset, it gives the space for them to take responsibility. Our role is to see them. I can see you are upset, I wonder what you can do? (say without expectation – it is just an acknowledgement)

These small steps taken daily build the foundation of their confidence which is needed for them to have the courage and learn the skills to deal with bullies.

  1. Teach Them the Meaning of the Bullying

Have conversations around why they think the child at school bullies them. What do they think about that child? Do they think they are strong or not? Teach your child that when people bully it is usually because they feel bad about themselves even if it doesn’t seem that way. Ask them to start to notice that child in other situations, do they look happy? Do they feel good about themselves? Have conversations about their observations. Helping them get another perspective of the bully can make it easier for them because they won’t feel as powerful

  1. Help Them Practice Their Conversations

The more prepared they feel the easier it is. 

  • Talk about what situations they find themselves in – where at school, when at school, what is happening before, what is happening after? What do the bullies want? How are they feeling at that time? If they get a bit of context it can help with the problem-solving. It is important to approach these conversations with curiosity and no pressure.
  • What could they do to change these circumstances? Sometimes they can plan to be in a different place or be with another friend. How can they avoid the opportunities? 
  • Ask them about how they feel. What makes them feel low? What can they do each day to feel good about themselves? If they can get into a conscious habit of doing something daily to lift their spirits it will impact how they feel about themselves
  • Ask them what they try in those situations. What can they do? What can they try? Let them practice with you. Let them feel strong when they are practicing. Help them understand that it is a trial-and-error process and that they can assess with you each time and keep trying different ideas until it works. Perseverance not result is key. 

In closing

Use these tips and others I provide in my blogs.  I am here to support you through your entire parent journey

 

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About the Author

Gail is a Family Relationship Coach specialising in Parent-Child Relationships. She is passionate about empowering and inspiring parents to develop children’s self-awareness. She believes that this can be achieved by balancing parent’s needs with children’s development and happiness. Understanding how to synchronise our thoughts and emotions and what drives them ensures our happiness, and our children reaching their full potential. Gail is a Qualified NLP Practitioner, NLP Life Coach and Emotional Freedom Techniques Practitioner with over 10 years’ experience and success at applying these techniques to children’s learning and behaviour. Her success with her own son is proof of the possibility of true potential

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