No one is bully proof, but there are things your child can do to reduce the
risk of being bullied.
Marriage and Family Therapist, Jason Williams, shares his advice.
Practical tips or advice about what a child can do to reduce or minimize their
personal risk for being bullied:
a) Avoid the bully, work on the “poker face” or not reacting, acting brave
“fake ‘til you make it”, walk away, ignore the bully don’t give them the power,
tell a trusted adult
b) Actively work to lessen the negative impact of bullying by increasing
the positive aspects or factors in a child’s life. Encourage and even facilitate
kids getting together with other positive friends to build their confidence and
help them feel more socially accepted or liked. Help them meet other kids
through joining clubs or sports teams. Find activities that can build their
confidence and help them feel more powerful like a self-defense class, or
other organized activities like music, something the child really enjoys that
allows them to thrive.
4) Bullying is a negative social phenomenon based on complex social
interaction patterns or group dynamics. A sort of eat or be eaten heirarchy.
There is some interesting research related to the idea that the negative or
damaging consequences of bullying behaviors can be effectively combated by
instilling or facilitating positive peer to peer interaction. The research
suggests schools focus on pro-social/positive interaction instead of simply
pointing out the negative behaviors or bullies and what to do about. Building
a culture of positive/pro-social behaviors so those behaviors begin to
dominate the social heirarchy instead of the eat or be eaten mentality.
Positive behavior can be “contagious”.
Jason Williams is a licensed marriage and family therapists. For more
information visit www.associatedpsych.com