Bullies used to simply shake down the weaker kids for lunch money, but these days, the bully business has gone online, and it's booming.
Bullying is present in all children's lives, whether they're male or female, teens or younger, bullies or the bullied,' she said.andnbsp; It reigns on the schoolyard, in the classrooms, in the hallways, on sports teams, even on the Internet. Inside and out of the classroom, kids are coming face to face under a new enemy, one who's often their age and their size. As parents and educators struggle to reach children who're being bullied, kids often end up dealing with bullies on their own. '
How do we get children to react the opposite of what the bully expects? This is where role-playing comes in handy. Parents should regularly sit down with their children helping them learn to react the opposite of what bullies expect. Often times, this task is much easier when the parent knows what hurtful words or phrases bullies say that makes their children feel fearful, angry, or sad. Using these hurtful words and/or phrases in role-plays will emotionally prepare children when they're approached by bullies.
It is equally important to teach children that they have the authority to change or affect the agenda of bullies by the words they use. For instance, if a bully calls a child ?stupid ', the child could defuse the bullying by stating to the bully, ?That's nice ?, ?How about that ?, ?Oh, well ?, and so forth. The worst thing that the girl could do is respond by telling the bully that he/she is stupid or make other negative statements. A negative response will only inflame the situation encouraging further bullying.
In addition, parents should teach and role-play with their children some forms of body language that differentiates a child with high self-esteem from a baby with low self-esteem. Body language communicates feelings even more than spoken words. If a child yells at a bully stating that he/she isn't bothered by the bully's behavior, the bully is aware that the child is bothered because of the yelling. Lack of eye contact, looking down, slouched posture, lack of hygiene, and low tone of voice can be seen as symptoms of low self-esteem.
Ream believes this is a constant issue for today's teens. She believes that parents and educators need to address this crisis head on and give our kids the tools to cope with bullies. Self-confidence is one of those tools.
The key is figure out a way to open up the model of communication for kids who're being bullied, Ream said. It isn't easy for children to recognize that they're being picked on. Being bullied can lead to the disappearance of interest in activities, even excessive absences from school. It is up to the adults in our children's lives to help them find the tools necessary to defend themselves and say 'stop. '