Tips to Handling Bullying

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When your daughter comes home, for the first time, and tells you a kid has been bullying her. Your heart breaks, and then you go into full on momma-bear mode. I’m so glad she came home and talked to us about it (a little boy said he wanted to kick her teeth it. Seriously, what the heck is that about…and for no reason, either). Immediately, Mr. Serious and I had a talk and then talked with her.

We suggested that she walk away from him whenever he was talking to her and ask him to please stop talking to her like that.

We also immediately contacted the teacher to let her know what was going on, and she was very quick to make sure to let us know that she was going to remedy it and also keep an eye on things.

I don’t know why any little turd would want to mess with my daughters, but I’ll be damned if I let it happen to them (to the best of my abilities). I wanted to make sure we were handling things the right way on our end, as well as what we told her.

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Daddy Nickell, owner of Daddy Scrubs provides valuable and unique advice for parents, and especially dads, on how to give your child the self-confidence, skills and power to stand up (and proudly walk away) from bullying. I invited him to share some dos and don’ts of handling bullying at school (or any other place kids interact).

Do: Teach your child the best ways to handle a bullying situation. If your own child is being bullied, teach them the best method is not to provoke a fight, but to simply and calmly (as hard as it might be) walk away and find the nearest adult (teacher or principal) who can help you. If your child is not the person being bullied but rather is witness to another child being bullied they can help by alerting a teacher or principal and being a kind and empathetic friend to the child being bullied.

Don’t: As a dad it’s hard not to want to fight a battle for your child (figuratively speaking), but do not overstep your boundaries. You could possibly make it worse for your child. If you’re a concerned parent call the school and talk with a principal or teacher and tell them the severity of the bullying situation. They’ll take the necessary measure to better watch the bully and give out consequences based on future actions.

Do: Talk! A lot! Talk to your child as much as possible about what’s going on at school, with their friends and their overall lives – you’ll be surprised by the things you’ll learn. Use the opportunity to build your child’s self-esteem as being a victim of bullying can often make a child feel puny. Discuss ways in which your child succeeds in school and at home and the things that make your child really happy. Be their rock. Build upon their strengths by giving them defense mechanisms like talking calmly, making jokes and more.

Don’t: Do nothing. Doing nothing does not work. And as a parent it’s your responsibility to do something to help your child in any situation. Be sure your moves are calculated, as your child will likely be watching and learning from your way of handling the situation.

Handling bullying can be hard, but there are ways in which parents should help by getting involved and teaching their children the best ways to handle situations. It’s important to be on the lookout for signs of bullying, and to handle each situation delicately and with dignity, as your child will be watching and learning from you.

Bottom line: teach your child to be a kind and empathetic human being who looks out for others and knows how to react and handle a bullying situation should they ever be caught in one. Good luck and happy parenting!

Robert Nickell (known as Daddy Nickell), owner of DaddyScrubs, provides valuable and unique advice for parents, and especially dads, on how to give your child the self-confidence, skills and power to stand up (and proudly walk away) from bullying. A father of three, Daddy Nickell developed DaddyScrubs to provide products and support to dads throughout all stages of fatherhood, including strong, empowering advice that helps dads all over the world develops capable, self-confident and successful kids. For more information on DaddyScrubs and Daddy Nickell, please visit www.DaddyScrubs.com.

What tips do you have or have you taught your kids if they are the victims of bullying? It’s so sad and scary to think how quickly things can turn, so I want to make sure I’m doing the best I can for my girls.


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18 Comments

  1. Well, with my oldest son, he’s like a BEAST at ignoring people-so I tell him to the ignore the HELL out of ignorant people, just pretend they don’t even exist. With my youngest though, he’s a fireballl and he has a hard time ignoring foolishness unfortunately. So, I’ve advised him to either (1.) Kill ’em with kindness (2.) Walk away (3.) Let an adult know someone is bullying. In general I tell both of them to stay away from mean spirited kids and to only deal with children who can be nice. I constantly tell them that they are leaders and “above” any nonsense that may come their way. I plan to build their confidence so much that silliness just slides off their back-I do hope it gets them through to adulthood!

  2. What a great post. We pulled my son out of school due to excessive bullying, so this hit home for me.

  3. These are great tips! I sure hope the school helped with your daughter’s situation. Bullying has become so “norm” and I’m glad we are finally taking a stand against it.

  4. We went through bullying issues when my son was in elementary school, he would tell the teacher and she would ignore him. My son finally had enough of being hit, kicked and picked on and ended up hitting the other child, they suspended my son immediately. I finally pressed charges against the child that was causing my son issues to get them to stop.

  5. My son was a victim of bullying a few times. It wasn’t super severe, but even a mild dose of bullying can crush a kids spirit. We had to change where he played and who he was able to play with. It is so hard to see your kid cry and ask not to go to school or ride the bus because of another kid’s actions.

  6. Yes, this is a tough one. MY son is a tough guy and I tell him to protect the smaller kids from bullies, but then he goes and gets all sensitive when he is called a name. And its not even true, its just the meanness gets to him. What a world.
    thanks,
    Mitch

  7. It’s so sad that so many kids deal with this. I plan to be very proactive and help my son understand what he needs to do. Thanks for the tips.

  8. These are all great tips! I’m retired now, but I used to remind my students that bullies want a reaction out of you. If you give them a reaction then it’s like adding fuel to the fire. I wish all parents would teach their children to treat others how you want to be treated.

  9. I have had many talks with my kids around bullying. It is an important topic to talk about.

  10. these are great tips. I’m glad my daughter hasn’t reported anything to me yet (she’s in kindergarten) but I don’t doubt it will happen at sometime. I don’t understand what makes kids do this.

  11. Love this post. These are the very tools we use and definitely always encourage our babies to do their best to walk away. Thanks for sharing this.

  12. I have a problem with my daughter going nutso on kids who aren’t nice to her. I’m desperately trying to teach her that if you get bullied, you can’t just bully back even more. I hope she catches on soon! On the plus side, at least she sticks up for herself. I was very shy and scared of bullies as a kid.

  13. I completely agree with teaching kids to walk away.

    I am shocked by how many parents still think that it is a good idea to teach their kids to start a fight or hit back without ever considering that they might be creating a bully… or setting their child up for unpleasant consequences (including getting expelled from school for fighting).

    My kids are still young, but I absolutely plan to teach them to DEFEND themselves if they are every in physical danger, but never to start or prolong a physical or emotional fight.

  14. It saddens me to think of the kids who are getting bullied these days. We recently had a talk with our boys on this very subject.

  15. Great insight and information! I would love to see me written about adults who bully. This behavior doesn’t stop after middle school. I have seen people quit jobs, move, and even develop PTSD because of being harassed [the ‘adult’ word for “bullying”] by an adult—it’s serious stuff.

    -Elana

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