Let me start this off with a little story..
So a few days ago we went to a small book fair! I was just a dinosaur themed one for younger children. All went fabulously! There was a ton of activities and a snack table.. Lillia got to spend time on a beautiful day with one of her friends.
We finished all the activities and found a little place where the kids could relax, play, and eat their snack. We spent about 20 minutes there just winding down. and only one other family walked in. It was very relaxing. It was finally time to leave and we were packing all our stuff up and my daughter just happened to notice that her toy was gone.. Lillia was heartbroken, but it was not a huge deal. It was only a 10 cent dinosaur that we got free from the event.. My daughter’s friend who is two years older then her (so shes 6) knew it wasn’t ok and the kids from the family that walked in must have taken it.
She calmly searched for this family and found them right away. She walked up to them and said “did you happen to see the toy dinosaur that was on the table in there, it’s my friends.” All the kids looked at one another and one of them finally said “no”. My daughter’s friend seen it sitting on a table right in front of them (she knew it was Lillia’s because they got the ONLY matching ones) so she grabbed it and handed it back to Lillia.
One of the little girls from the other family started to whine (mind you shes 3+ times my daughters’ size) and the female adult that was with them turned and said you know that’s not yours quit whining.
So this family knew that the children were taking toys that were not your and they were not saying anything.. Why? Why has this become the new ok? Why are we not teaching that taking other peoples -other children’s things is not ok? & before anyone says ‘Well maybe they can’t afford things’ this was a free event all the little toys and other things were at no cost to anyone & even if there was a cost there is absolutely no reason to steal and lie.
There is so much bullying going on it is just sickening! You would think we -a generation that suffered so much from depression from bullying- would want so much better for our children! So what are we doing to change the world our children are growing up in.
Here are some things you can do if your child is bullying others-
- Help your child build the skills to resolve conflicts. Social and emotional skills are so important to learn. Those skills include awareness, management of themselves as well as social agility and respectful decision making!
- Get on your child’s level. Ask what happened and why. Children need to know its ok to talk to you even after a mistake has been made! Make sure they understand that what they did is unacceptable and why, but make sure you do not become a bully when having this discussion. Be a good listener and do not place blame, just acknowledge the behavior.
- There must be some consequence and repercussion for the bullying behavior. This helps children realize they are accountable for their own actions!
- Try to turn the bullying incident into a teachable moment. See what they think they could have done instead and what the outcome may have been. Then act it out.
- Write an apology letter. Explain why they are doing this and how the other child(ren) felt during the bullying and how the letter may affect them as well. (Make sure to follow through and get the letter to the other child, it may really make a difference in their life)
Here are some things you can do if your child is being bullied-
- Listen to your child. This is so important! Do NOT just assume that they sparked the behavior of the other child(ren). They need your love and support. They may already be self-blaming. Try to avoid questions that may point blame.
- Do not take problem-solving into your own hands. Getting the children together may not help and may actually escalate the problem. Do involve the child’s teacher, principal, and maybe the police.
- Empower your child to take control. Think about ways that they can improve the situation and possibly resolve it. Help them find at least one safe person they can help and protect them if the bullying continues.