By: Diane Lane
The recent news story about the grandmother being bullied by kids on the bus struck a cord with all of us. Parents and grandparents play a huge role in the prevention of bullying. If a child doesn’t know how to express themselves they will become frustrated, angry and act out either towards themselves or others. Here are six steps for parents and grandparents to
1. Teach kids to express themselves and let them know it’s okay to express themselves. Teach your grandkids that emotions such as fear, sadness and anger are normal emotions. What makes them bad is when you internalize your emotions or take them out on others such as bullying. You can teach kids about emotions as early as preschool – ages 3 or 4. take to help prevent bullying:
2. As the parent or grandparent, be the role model. Do not bully your grandkids, others and don’t bully each other. If kids
are seeing bullying in the household, they will think it’s okay.
3. If your grandchild is the bully make sure there are consequences for their behavior both at school and home.
The consequences must be specific to your child. If you say no TV but your child isn’t interested in TV it won’t work. Punishment and discipline are very important BUT remember discipline is also showing love.
- There also has to be consistency with discipline and punishment. The promise of punishment and not sticking to it shows your grandchild they can get away with the bad behavior and they will keep continuing the bad behavior.
- Finally, make sure you let your grandchild know that bullying is never acceptable behavior. Go over all actions/behaviors they show that could be considered bullying so they understand. We are seeing bullying at younger ages even in preschool and elementary school.
4. Teach your grandkids such learned traits early on such as kindness, respect towards themselves and others, empathy, patience, warmth, caring, etc. They can learn these traits. These traits lead to healthy behavior.
5. Get your grandkids involved in volunteer work and community activities. When children learn to help others at a young age it causes a few things: Instant boost of happiness, respect for themselves and others plus it raises self-esteem. It also teaches diversity. So again, you’re helping your grandchild to see that everyone is different and that is okay!
6. Keep an open dialogue with your grandchild. Good communication is key. If you have a good relationship with your grandchild, they will come to you if they are getting bullied.
Go over ways your grandchild can handle a bully.
- Always let your grandchild know it’s not their fault they are being bullied. Empower your grandchild by building them up.
- Always work on building your grandchild’s self-esteem. Let your grandchild know how proud you are of them. Praise them, listen to them and show them lots of love!
Diane Lang is extremely mediagenic and offers expertise on a variety of health and wellness topics about creating balance and finding happiness through positive living. As an expert in her field of therapy, Lang has been interviewed for numerous magazine and newspaper articles and has been a frequent guest on radio and TV shows including “Fox & Friends” on the Fox News Network. Lang is a monthly contributor Upload/Insert for “Family Beautiful” magazine, a weekly columnist for MommyTalk.com, a regular featured expert on the “Expat Show” broadcasted weekly on the New York ABC affiliate WTBQ-AM, and a Blogger at www.MyHappyBlog.vox.com. For interviews please contact Tasha Mayberry at [email protected] for all media inquiries or call her direct at 207.317.6099. Visit www.dlcounseling.com for more information.