Bullying is something that is unfortunately present in all areas of life, especially for our children.
Thankfully, efforts made at home, school and through afterschool programs, such as those that Drama Kids International offers, can help children learn how to overcome bullying.
The Impact Parents Have in Bullying Situations
A recent study by the University of Maryland’s College of Education found that parental involvement can lessen the effects of bullying on middle schoolers. This study found that middle school students who felt their parents were more involved in their education had fewer mental health struggles, which included fewer suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Having open lines of communication can make quite a difference—this includes communication between educators and parents, as well as parents and their children.
Helping Your Child Overcome Bullying
Before we can help prevent bullying, it is important to know the three defining characteristics of bullying:
- Deliberate. It is their intention to hurt someone.
- Repeated. This behavior is repeated or has the potential to be repeated.
- Power imbalance. Bullies choose victims who are perceived as vulnerable.
Knowing that bullying can take many forms, including physical, verbal, relational and cyberbullying, you can then begin watching for signs of being bullied in your children. Keep in mind that many children are hesitant to tell adults about bullying for various reasons:
- They are ashamed.
- They are afraid of retaliation.
- They think nothing can be done/no one can help.
- They think “telling” isn’t cool.
Teaching your children appropriate ways to respond to bullying is extremely important.
You can help them improve their social skills and learn the importance of their words. When children can stick up for themselves verbally and be assertive, it can drastically improve the situation. These commanding words and sentences include things like:
- “I want a turn now.”
- “I don’t like this.”
- “Cut it out.”
Other ways to help your child can be modeling positivity, instilling a healthy self-esteem, emphasizing friendship skills, and teaching them positive self-talk and how to learn from mistakes. You can also role-play various bullying scenarios so your child will be ready and prepared to handle them if it were to happen.
Drama Kids International is proud to offer ACT UP! to Stop Bullying, a series of anti-bullying workshops that is designed with 3rd through 5th grade students in mind. If you are interested in learning more about this drama program and how it can be brought to your school, please don’t hesitate to contact us!