This post is sponsored by TakePart
As a mom of three, I often look at my kids and wonder who they will become.
Will they be kind? Will they be honest? Will they make good choices when I am not around to remind them?
Will people be mean to them? Will they stand by and watch as their friends are treated unkindly? Will they stick up for their friends? Will their sweet personalities be squashed as they go out into the world that is sometimes filled with mean people?
I don't know the answers to these questions... but I worry about them a lot.
I have thought a lot about this post this week and how important this topic is... especially for parents and educators of little ones. Prevention can make a big difference.
The definition of bullying is the aggressive and repetitive imbalance of power used by one person to control another.
Bullying can be verbal, physical, and social.
Bullying can be seen in homes, schools, friendships/social groups, in churches, on the internet, etc.
No one is immune... even little children.
Little children are weak and vulnerable, which makes them an easy target. We need to protect them and teach them to protect one another.
Why do kids bully other kids?
- Bullying can feel good and make kids feel powerful.
- Bullying can be a way to express emotions or words that kids don't know how to communicate.
- Bullying can make kids feel accepted or part of things.
My 5 yr old son has been bullied more than once. The saddest incident occurred at a neighborhood park where he was repeatedly called names over and over again by a boy that was older than he was. The boy also threw sand at him. I was distracted by my toddler and missed the interaction since it happened quickly. My 5 yr old wet his pants during the stressful interaction with this older child and came running over to let me know that he needed new clothes. He never mentioned the mean words or the sand... so we just packed up and went home. He was very upset on and off throughout the evening and I had no idea why and he wouldn't tell me. Later that night my husband sat down to play with him for awhile and while they played and talked my son brought the situation up and told his dad about it.
He just sobbed and sobbed. He didn't understand why anyone would be so mean... and he said there were other kids joining in too.
I felt so sad.
I want him to be surrounded by people who uplift him and encourage him to be a better version of himself. I don't want him around people that tear him down.
I've thought a lot about this topic and simple things we can do. Over the next week or so I have several posts I want to share with you based on this topic of bullying... but for today I wanted to share four simple things you can do now to help prevent your child from being bullied. These aren't the only ways, but they are a great place to start.
4 Tips for Preventing Bullying
Teach them to choose good friends.
Help them find friends that celebrate them and their talents. Having a network of good friends who are supportive and thoughtful will make them less likely to choose to spend time with kids who put them down.
Encourage them to be involved and learn new things.
Children who are involved in activities that they love will make new friends with similar interests. They will have fun and gain confidence which will protect them from bullying.
Teach them to be good friends and support their friends.
Children can be taught good friendship skills from early ages. We spend time doing kind things for friends, supporting them in their activities, and discovering their talents. By focusing on being a good friend, kids build lifelong friendships. These friendships can protect them from bullying.
Teach kids to treat all people with respect and kindness.
Kids are always watching adults. We can teach kids to be kind and respectful through our examples. We can also teach kids to stick up for their friends (and others) and get help if they need it. By teaching them that all people are important and deserve respect and kindness, they will learn that no one deserves to be bullied and they will hopefully reach out and help if they see someone being treated unkindly.
Bullying needs to stop. I want to challenge you to educate your kids about bullying and start now to help prevent it.
Have you ever been bullied?
Has your child?
What other strategies have you used to help prevent bullying?
You can find more resources at Stop Bullying.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This post was sponsored by TakePart but all the opinions expressed in this post are mine. I was compensated for participation in this campaign. Thank you so much for supporting my blog and the occasional sponsors that I work with.