Tips to Help Bully Proof Your Kids

Do's and Don'ts

If your child is a victim of bullying, it is a good idea to sit down with them and go over a list of do's and don'ts to help keep them safe.

  • Don't get into a physical fight with a bully or try to get even.
  • Don't believe the bad things they say about you.
  • Don't ignore the bullying, tell someone.
  • Don't waste time in place where a bully might target you.
  • Don't believe you deserve to get picked on.
  • Do write down how you feel.
  • Do learn to say and believe good things about yourself and your personality.
  • Do speak confidently to the bully.
  • Do walk or run away if a bully tries to hurt you.

5 Ways to Bully Proof your Kids

Schools are taking a strong anti-bullying stance but as a parent you still need to do your part at home. Here are five smart ways to keep kids from becoming targets -- and stop bullying that has already started.

  1. Talk about it - Talk with your kids and have other family members share their experiences. Praise them for being brave enough to opens up about being bullied and offer unconditional support. Check with the school to find out how staff and teachers can address the situation.
  2. Remove the bait - If it's lunch money or gadgets that the school bully is after, you can help defuse the situation by encouraging your child to pack a lunch or go to school gadget-free.
  3. Buddy up for safety - Two or more friends standing at their lockers are less likely to be picked on than a child who is all alone. Remind your child to use the buddy system when on the school bus, in the bathroom, or wherever bullies may be.
  4. Keep calm and carry on - If a bully strikes, a kid's best defence may be to remain calm, ignore hurtful remarks, tell the bully to stop, and simply walk away. Bullies thrive on hurting others so a child who isn't easily upset has a better chance of staying off a bully's radar.
  5. Don't try to fight the battle yourself - Sometimes talking to a bully's parents can be constructive, but it's generally best to do so in a setting where a school official, such as a counsellor, can mediate.

More Information on Bullying and how to speak with your children about it.