I’ve been thinking of this post for a while now. Earlier this year, my daughter has received a bunch of stories as a gift from our friends who live abroad. We loved all as they have great lessons to teach kids, but there was one that I really wanted my daughter to listen to every single night, before she starts school.
The story is about bullying and called “Llama Llama and The Bully Goat“.
It’s a nice story that talks about Llama and his friends at school and that bully goat who always mock his friends, kick their toys and call them names. But Llama didn’t accept that and talked to the teacher who in her turn solved the problem and everyone played nicely together afterwards.
When my daughter started school, I was scared about the fact that one day, she might be bullied when she’s all alone out there without me or her daddy beside her. You might say i’m overthinking and kids at the age of 4 don’t know how to bully others, but trust me, studies showed that bulling has been spread among the ages of 2 to 6 more than teens!
So, how to bully-proof your kids?
First, you’ll have to be your kids’ best friend. Your kids should feel safe and free to tell you ANYTHING. No matter how good or BAD their story is. Once you achieve this relation with your kids, you’re half way protecting them from many things.
When your child comes back from school or nursery, talk to them about their day and how did they spend it with their teacher and friends. Stay attentive to everything they say. They may not know the word “bully” but they will give you signs, and once they do, raise your concerns to the teacher. Let her/him know what’s bothering your child.
My daughter once told me that her friend at school calls her “baby” all the time and that she was not happy about it. We made sure the teacher and the assistant know about it and problem was solved.
Second, if the act that’s bothering your child continues, reach the parents of the offender. It might be something bothering him/her at home or something he/she watching on TV and their act is a result of that.
Then, teach your child to seek help or talk to the teacher/assistant/nurse (any adult they feel comfortable to talk to), as sometimes, fighting back is not the best solution and might cause more harm.
What our story says: “Being bullied is no fun, walk away and tell someone“
Last but not least, teach your child some tricks that help them appear more confident and less inviting target. Introduce it to them as secret games to play when talking to someone. Teach them to look into people’s eyes when talking to them to find out their color. By this, they’ll look more confident and brave.
Another thing I teach my daughter is to use her words. If she felt that someone is bothering her and she don’t want to play with them, to say: “Stop bothering me” or “I won’t play with you if you’re not acting nice” and walk away.
One more thing to add, ALWAYS make them know how proud you are of them when they come to you and tell you their story how they defended themselves. This will help kids build their self confidence and encourage them to defend themselves all the time.