Step 1: Preventing Bullying – Getting Started
About Preventing Bullying
The thought of a child bullying yours is unbearable. But the great news is that as a parent, you can actually invest time now with your child and help them learn invaluable life skills that will greatly reduce the chances of them being the target of a bully.
In most cases bullying doesn’t begin until around the age of six, as younger kids rarely have the forward planning skills to bully another child for a sustained period of time. However, from as young as four we can start to teach our children the skills they need for when it appears in their world.
Whilst we focus on the mid-childhood years here at WeParent, bullying is sadly not limited to this age bracket. The skills your child will learn in this series will help them manage bullying behaviour throughout school, on social media and into the work place.
In this series we will give you the tools to help you prepare your child to handle bullying behaviour with confidence and control. We cannot remove bullies from our child’s world, but we can teach them to manage the situation and greatly reduce the chances a bully will repeatedly target them.
Our team has over 40 years of experience dealing with people who’ve been bullied. We firmly believe that prevention is better than cure, so we have come up with a fantastic approach to bullying prevention, allowing parents to be proactive and teach their kids to nip it in the bud.
“I’ve found the strategies in WeParent so helpful on things that came up that I wasn’t confident in tackling the right way. It’s made me realise how many life skills I can actually teach my child, rather than just keeping my fingers crossed and hope things will turn out ok! I can’t recommend WeParent enough.”
What You’ll Learn
Our three modules in the Preventing Bullying series are packed full of bullying advice in dealing with bullies.
Educate your child about bullying so they are far better prepared when they first come across it.
We help you communicate the different bullying behaviours to your child so they understand what behaviours are ok and not ok.
Give your child the words they need to tell you about it if they or a friend is bullied.
Assertiveness skills help your child handle any bullying behaviour when faced by it at school
Give your child assertiveness skills giving them more self-confidence. A confident, assertive child is far less likely to even be approached by a bully.
Give your child a positive sense of self for them to feel happy in their own skin, and not react and feel hurt by bullying words.
Psychology Fun Facts
How common is bullying?
A study by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute involving 1200 children aged between 8-9 years found that 30% of these children had been exposed to bullying that occurred on a regular weekly basis. These children were either the target of a bully or, they had observed another child being bullied.
Both boys and girls were subjected to bullying and, both genders participated in bullying.
WeParent takes the view that bullying is as much a life hazard that our children are likely to encounter and need the skills to cope with, as you would do when it comes to road safety or learning how to swim.
When it comes to bullying, there is a lot of focus on stopping bullies from behaving in this way, and rightly so. There has been far less work and education done in helping children ensure they’re not an easy target for a bully.
Children in the mid-childhood years are affected by bullying as they become very aware of the importance of peer relationships and social hierarchies.
Bullying often starts at school where children are now exposed to social hierarchies and to large groups of children.
It’s during these years that children are ready to learn how to manage common hazards which should not only include things like teaching them how to cross the road safely and learn to swim, for example, but should also include how to manage bullies.
What age does bullying begin?
Bullying is a behaviour that is deliberate and repeated. Bullying can occur in children as young as 6. Bullying before the age of 6 is rare as children younger than this typically lack the foresight to carry on bullying over a period of time.
What are the emotional impacts of bullying?
Bullying produces strong emotional impacts on children who are targets of the bullying. A child’s emotional response will either be externalised or internalised.
When a child externalises their emotional response, they direct their emotions outwards towards the bully. A child who shows this type of response usually becomes angry at the bully.
When a child internalises their emotional response, they direct their emotions inwards towards themselves. They might feel embarrassed, guilty or ashamed. The specific emotion affects how the child feels, thinks and reacts.
It’s important as a parent to guide your child through these emotional reactions to help them understand and manage them positively.
Where to next?
WeParent have developed a three prong approach to giving your child the best chance possible to avoid being targeted by a bully.
Psychological research shows children with the ability to quickly identify bullying behaviours, have a positive sense of sense and good assertiveness skills, are far less likely to be targeted by bullies.
WeParent recommends working through each of the three strategies. Each strategy will give your child a separate set of life skills. You know your child best, so you decide which order to complete them in.
So, head back to the Preventing Bullying section on our Categories Page in Module of the Week to start working through this week’s free modules on Assertiveness. This module is made up of two strategies to teach your child the skill of assertiveness – “Modelling Assertiveness” and “Decisions, Decisions, Decisions”.
If you would like to get started on any of the other modules in the Preventing Bullying series, simply Enrol Now and receive your first 30 days free!