How to deal with Bullying

5 things we learned on ParentsCanada Talk Radio this week.

It was Pink T-shirt day across Canada on Wednesday week – an opportunity to put the spotlight on Bullying and empower our kids to take action.

Here’s what we learned during this week’s show.

We need a clear definition.
What actually is bullying? We connected with the Center for Disease Control’s definition: “Bullying is any unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by another youth or group of youths who are not siblings or current dating partners that involves an observed perceived power imbalance and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated, and bullying may inflict harm or distress on the targeted youth including physical, psychological, social or educational harm.”

At its root, bullying is about “differences” and power.
Bullying commonly picks on “differences” – from eyeglasses to race. Our opportunity is to show are kids that differences are just that. They don’t need judgement. Research also shows that power dynamics can be rooted in childhood bullying. Someone who bullies learns the strategies because they were successful when they were kids.

Reverse engineer bullying.
Our guest was Errol Lee, a musician and speaker who your kids may know. He spends a lot of time talking about kindness in schools. His advice? Stop focusing on “bullying” and start focusing on kindness, empathy and communication. When we teach these positive approaches, they serve as a powerful tool against bullying.

Empower first.
There are absolutely times when telling a teacher or other person is warranted. You can also be proactive and build the skills to deal with bullying in real time. Teaching them to say things like “I don’t like when you say that” or “I don’t like the way you make me feel” can create awareness. De-escalating bullying early often reduces or eliminates the issues entirely. At the same time, kids who see bullying can say something too.

Answer “why.”
What do you do when your child initiates the bullying? Talk to them, and try to figure out the “why.” Is it for social status? Are they testing out their voice? Is there a problem that needs resolution. This builds strong skills for communication, emotional intelligence and self regulation.

Learn more! Join us every Wednesday from 11am-noon for ParentsCanada Talk Radio on NewsTalk Sauga 960. Click here for recent episodes.

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