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How Can I Prevent Bullying Before It Happens?


Bullying has been a major issue in the last few years as the mean kid on the playground takes to the internet. If you have children, these incidents of bullying are probably your worst nightmare. Thankfully, you can equip your children with ways to prevent and stop bullying. Here are a few ways to do so:

Stay calm

A big reason why bullying occurs is that anger boils over. Let's say your daughter Sarah's best friend Carla scored better on a test than she did. Sarah could react in several ways. If she gets really mad, she may lash out by saying something mean or even physically harming Carla. You can teach Sarah how to calm herself in a situation where she gets angry. Tell her to take five big breaths to remove herself from the reactionary stage. Then, she should think about how she would feel in the other person's shoes. If handled correctly, Sarah will congratulate Carla on her score and maybe even ask that her friend study with her for the next exam so they can both learn from one another. 

a young girl looking depressed at school

Do something else

In a situation where a child may pick on a peer, the kid should know it's better to do something else. Maybe your son Jackson saw a kid trip on the playground. He could point and laugh, making the student feel bad, or he could continue playing with his friends. Tell your children that whenever they know they're about to be mean or lash out they should stop what they're doing and move to something else. 

"Saying, 'I'm sorry,' can mend friendships."


Sometimes we say things we don't mean because we don't think before every word. It's inevitable that between siblings, friends or even strangers there will be some moments of ill will. Let your kids know that it's important to apologize. Even though it can be embarrassing, saying, "I'm sorry." can mend friendships and make the world a safer place.

Ask for help

You can't always prevent bullying. After all, you're not going to follow your children around for every moment of their lives. In the event that your kids are bullied or witness someone else being a bully, they should speak up. Telling a teacher, a lunchroom aid or a trusted adult can greatly improve the situation. These grownups can provide advice on how to help the victim of bullying or perhaps speak to and punish the child who is being mean. 

Put yourself in their shoes

That line about walking a mile in someone else's shoes is really true. In the instance above where a kid trips, how would your son feel if he was the one getting up off the ground? He wouldn't want anyone to laugh and stare. In an instant where your kids might be mean, make sure they know to place themselves in the other person's shoes momentarily. More often than not they'll move on instead of saying something hurtful or getting into a physical confrontation.

What Should I Do If My Child is a Bully? 4

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