Does your child get bullied? Do they come home in tears? Do you sometimes feel helpless on what to do about it?

Understanding what drives bully behaviour and why some children are more susceptible to being bullied can provide some answers on how to handle it.

  • Bullies bully children because they have a low self-esteem and need to bully in order to feel more powerful.
  • Bullied children usually have low self-esteem and feel weak and that is why the bullies choose them.

It is important to build awareness in bullied children on the way they feel about themselves (their state) and why they feel that way. We can then give them strategies on how to build their state and self-esteem so that they will no longer be chosen by the bullies.

Daily activities that build their state, power and self-esteem

  • Notice when your child is not feeling good about themselves and ask them; How are you feeling? Acknowledge their feeling (make it ok to feel that way) eg. Yes, I can see you are feeling…..What makes you feel that way? NEVER make their feeling wrong or dismiss their feeling. Never judge their feeling or try and make them feel better. What does this situation mean to you? What else could it mean? What would you like instead? How can you get that?
  • When you speak to your child, how are you feeling towards them? When you love them, how are you feeling towards them? Do you see (feel) them as powerful and big or small and weak? Do you feel the need to protect them? Always talk to the “King” in them.
  • Ask them what they feel they are good at, or when they feel powerful. Ask them if they can feel that inside. It is important for them to become aware of when they feel powerful and what that feels like.
  • When you notice they are feeling powerful at any time, ask them; How are you feeling? Can they feel that inside? This will develop their awareness of their feeling
    Ask them to help you and acknowledge them for how much their help means to them.
  • Ask them what they can do each day to feel powerful and let them do that.
  • Don’t offer solutions to their problems – ask them what they think they can do. Encourage them to test their solution. Prepare them for possible outcomes. Ask questions about what they think the response will be and what other possible responses there could be. Ask them how they would then respond.
  • Be present for them when their solutions don’t work. Don’t make them wrong. Ask them how they felt and what worked and what didn’t work. What could they do next time? Don’t provide solutions
  • Let them practise feeling strong/powerful. Who is their “superhero” Ask them to imagine how they would feel if they were him. Can they feel that inside
  • Notice when your child’s state changes, and draw their attention to it without judgement
  • Encourage them to express the reasons why they feel bad especially when it is something you have said or done. Don’t judge or defend your reactions, ask them how they would have liked you to respond
  • Listen and question often – without judgement
  • Take responsibility for facilitating their awareness, it is not your goal to change their state or make them feel better – that is THEIR responsibility
  • Ask for their opinions daily.
  • Give them lots of choices.
  • Give them privileges that are not attached to performance.
  • Tell them often that you love them regardless of their performance.
  • Give them responsibilities.
  • Sometimes children want to be a victim – it can meet their needs. They can get connection, love, comfort and certainty from being a victim. If you notice they are holding onto feeling weak, ask them what they are getting from feeling this way. Help them to find a different way to meet that need. At this time, talk to them with your feeling that you see them as strong. Don’t see (feel) them as weak to comfort them and satisfy their need.

Practising these questions and activities daily builds your children’s way of thinking which slowly develops their awareness and self-esteem and soon you will notice they are talking and responding to situations more confidently.

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