How to teach children to handle bullies

Parental influence on children in the first 12 years of their lives have a permanent effect. Unfortunately, children come with no user manual. Each child is different from the other. Discuss how to handle emotional and educational needs of your child here.

How to teach children to handle bullies

Postby outsider » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:23 pm

My son is 4. He was bullied at the playground by another 4 yr old boy. I saw it but I did not interfere. I saw tears in his eyes.
On the way home, I just told him " you must learn to protect yourself".

Any advise from parents will be appreciated.

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Postby tamarind » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:30 pm

If other kids bully my kids, I will definitely step in to stop them and scold them.

We cannot expect young kids to know how to protect themselves, without first teaching them what to do.

I tell my kids that if someone bully them in school, scream very loud and tell the teacher. Then next time stay far away from that bullying kid. I do not believe in hitting back.

My older girl took quite long to learn how to scream when bullied, fortunately she almost never encountered any bullies in her school, except for a boy who tried to kiss her. My younger boy knew how to protect himself since he was 2 years old, because he interacted with his sister since birth. Whenever other kids try to take away something from his hand, he will never let go :wink:

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Postby watmekiasu » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:46 pm

I think up until they start P1, we should step in to help out the child.

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Postby mintcc » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:53 pm

Just wondering what the situation is like during the bully incident? I notice that boys (DS is 4 years old too) do play rough sometimes. Sometimes, I notice him getting into rough play with other boys in the playground, usually with them laughting and smilling and being friendly afterwards but it sometimes get out of hand. When we see things getting too rough, me or the other parents will usually go in and remind the boys to play gently and to take turns with toys.

In the face of real bullying, DS usually will just ignore the bully and go on with his own things and that seems to make him less of a target. Also very good at holding on to his toy when some one comes to snatch. :) But if it is a younger kid, I will usually ask him to share.

When the kid is much bigger, e.g. a few years older, I would sometimes interfer. E.g. once an older boy keep throwing plastic balls aiming at him in a playground's ballpool. So I go over and ask DS to play at another area and tell the other boy that it's not nice to to throw balls at others.

There was once when DS was younger when he was beaten by a boy who was bigger in size (the other boy just ran over and smack him right on the head and push him on the floor) and he cried quite badly. The parents came over and apologise. I just comfort him and took it as an oppportunity to tell him never to do that to others and show him ways of blocking/avoiding such an attack.

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Postby jedamum » Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:03 pm

build on the kid's self esteem and confidence first. when the kid is confident of himself, he will naturally stand up for himself. 4 yo may be a bit too young to stand up for himself, but you can start by going through 'scenerios' with him and share about your own childhood experiences with him.
when my boy was 5yo and learning swimming in a small group in a private pool, while waiting for the coach to arrive, he chanced upon a bully who dared them to jump into the deep ends of the pool. the bully stepped on their board and even threw the board to the deep ends. my boy told my nephew to ignore him, and seek my husband's help to retrieve the board. he is very good at ignoring people and sometimes can be seen as arrogant, so i am not so worried about bullies for him.
for ds2, he is gullible. although at 3yo and is able to scream out loud when others took his stuff, he doesn't have the understanding yet that sometimes people are laughing at him rather than laughing with him. what to do? i usually send in ds1 to protect him.

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Postby jedamum » Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:07 pm

mincy wrote:There was once when DS was younger when he was beaten by a boy who was bigger in size (the other boy just ran over and smack him right on the head and push him on the floor) and he cried quite badly. The parents came over and apologise. I just comfort him and took it as an oppportunity to tell him never to do that to others and show him ways of blocking/avoiding such an attack.

that reminds me of a video that my friend shared with me about her boys.
they were playing in the ikea playroom and out of the sudden, a boy pushed the head of the little brother a few times before walking away. the older brother 6yo at that time, looked furious, took the younger bro's hand, approached the boy and pushed the boy back before walking away.
lolz.
luckily it stopped there.

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Postby schellen » Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:33 am

DD is taught to ignore bullies and teasing at first. If that fails, she is to avoid the bully and stay with her friends. A few months ago, 2 incidents happened, one at sch and one at BASC. A boy in her class kept annoying and irritating her. Since it was non-threatening (she just needed the human equivalent of a bug spray to deal with this pest), we told her to retaliate physically (push offender away) and report the incidents to the teachers. So she kicked him in the shin once before stomping off to report him to her teacher. This was after she warned him to leave. For the incident at BASC, it was a bit more intimidating and involved more children so when DD brought it to our attention, DH mentioned it to the teachers and they took over from there. DD continued to ignore and report them while the teachers monitored and stepped in when needed. Luckily, the situation improved.

Oh, since I'm 6 years older than my sis, and my sis was the "keep quiet when bullied kind", I used to step in to deal with bullies and pests for her. Can you imagine a sec sch girl going up to a pri sch kid and warning him to behave himself and stay away from my sis or else..... LOL Also helps that my sis and I came from the same pri sch so I knew who to approach for help should the situation get out of hand.

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Postby schellen » Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:44 am

jedamum wrote:he is very good at ignoring people and sometimes can be seen as arrogant, so i am not so worried about bullies for him.


Maybe that's why that pest didn't annoy him. Perhaps, next time, if the pest is "activated" again, DD can get your DS1 to deal with him. LOL

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Postby daisyt » Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:44 pm

Children at different age, would meet different type of bullies. And different type of bullies must be deal with differently. I guess this is a challenge most parents would face, on how to teach their children to identify what type of bullies and how to deal with them.

My girl met many bullies since primary school and now in Sec, there are cases too. I always tell her, she must first understand the character of that bully and the surrounding situation before she takes any action.

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Postby sashimi » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:24 pm

schellen wrote: A few months ago, 2 incidents happened, one at sch and one at BASC. A boy in her class kept annoying and irritating her. Since it was non-threatening (she just needed the human equivalent of a bug spray to deal with this pest), we told her to retaliate physically (push offender away) and report the incidents to the teachers. So she kicked him in the shin once before stomping off to report him to her teacher. This was after she warned him to leave.


You forgot, darling, that it WAS threatening. The boy verbally expressed the intention to beat her up physically. That's why we instructed DD to be prepared to retaliate as a means of defence. Remember?

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