How Parents Can Help Children With Bullying Issues

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

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.”
  • “No.”
  • “Stop.”
  • “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!

Healthy Habits Children Need to Develop

Leading a healthy life consists of many different facets, including those related to our physical, mental and emotional health. As adults, we know what needs to be done to take care of ourselves, but for healthy habits to truly stick, it is best to begin encouraging them from an early age.

Healthy Habits for Kids

There are many healthy habits that children can benefit from starting at a young age.

  1. Embrace colorful eating.Not only does a colorful meal look great, it can also have many health benefits! Teaching children to“eat the rainbow”, candy not included, can help set them up to enjoy colorful fruits and vegetables. Having a colorful diet can also help keep food from becoming standard and routine, with each meal being different and vibrant.
  2. Don’t skip out on breakfast.We’ve long heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and for good reason—it truly is. A healthy breakfast can help supply energy, build strength and keep diseases at bay. Harvard Medical School has also found that skipping breakfast correlates with four times the likelihood of obesity.
  3. Drink plenty of water.Water gives us life, and not getting enough in can be detrimental. Instead of allowing an overabundance of sugary drinks to be consumed, encourage an appreciation and enjoyment of drinking water in your home.
  4. Emphasize quality sleep.Children need plenty of sleep, there’s just no way around it. Sleep helps the body recover, refuel and energize for growth. For children ages 3 to 5, the recommended amount is 11 to 13 hours. Children ages 5 to 10 need 10 to 11 hours, and children ages 10 to 17 need 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep per night.
  5. Teach how to read food labels.Part of eating healthier means understanding just what exactly is in food. You can take some time to point out various nutritional facts of foods on labels when shopping with your children, highlighting areas to watch for such as calories, sugars and fats.
  6. Stay positive.Have you ever considered positivity a habit? You should! Teaching children to be positive can help them learn resilience and encourage the development of healthy self-esteem and positive mindsets.

The development of healthy habits starts at home for children, but there is always the opportunity for those habits to be reinforced through curricular and extracurricular activities. Drama Kids International is proud to have the opportunity to help further instill healthy habits in children.