Sunday, December 15, 2013

Parents can help children cope with bullies

I am in favor of whatever it takes to combat bullying. A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle spoke of how schoolyard bullies have been around forever, but the advent of social networks have made the problem much larger. Parents can play an important role in preparing children to resist being bullied and becoming a bully by talking with them about the subject.

There is no better way to gain empathy and understanding than by stepping into the shoes of a person inside a story. Parents reading to children and talking with them about bullying is an integral part of the solution.  Parents need to have those conversations before a child becomes a bully, a bystander that allows bullying, or the victim of bullying. It is better to have those conversations before they are needed.

Some conversation starters:
Are you born a bully?
~Do boys and girls bully in the same way?
~Why does a person become a bully?
~Where do you learn to be a bully?
~Did you ever meet a happy bully?
~Do bullies have genuine friends?

What we choose not to talk about with our children is their lifelong burden. I believe information is power and the more opportunities children have to talk with responsible adults about subjects that matter, the better off they will be. Parents having these conversations with their children can help their child navigate an often complicated and not so nice world. That is just one of the many job descriptions of a good parent.

No comments:

Post a Comment