Top tips for dealing with bullying

Learn about: Top tips for dealing with bullying from Gordon Neufeld, PhD,...
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Top tips for dealing with bullying

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Unfortunately, bullying is hard to stop by simply saying, "no" or "stop" by trying to stand up to the bully. It's deeply embedded in instinct and emotion. Some of the things a parent can do is make sure your child is not too peer oriented. If they are looking to their peers for contact and closeness, there are peers there that are going to take advantage of that neediness, advantage of the weakness, advantage of that vulnerability, and put your child down, belittle the child, and so on. So the less the child is peer oriented, they are saved of the sting of that. The most significant thing is that your child is shielded by a strong emotional connection to them. The more you matter to them, the less it matters what other people think of them. That is your primary defense. If there is an older sibling putting down a younger sibling, you must make sure that for the younger sibling, that you matter most. You mattering the most, you shield that child from the rejection that they may experience elsewhere. A couple of other things, you need to keep that child's heart soft, so they can feel the alarm. We all deal with bullies in our world, and if we are properly alarmed, we can stay out of harms way. It's natural to feel scared. It's natural to feel unsafe. If we can try to see where trouble is coming from, we can usually stay out of the way. The final thing is that children need to have their tears. They need to have their tears and feelings of sadness. We need to have that resilience there. When they have their tears of upset over things they cannot change, they begin to become resilient about these things and the wounds don't go down as deep. All that said and done, if your child is still being bullied, you think it is more than they can bear. It's important, as parents, to remove them from that situation. Many parents think that schools can do things that they cannot do. It's up to us as parents.

Learn about: Top tips for dealing with bullying from Gordon Neufeld, PhD,...

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Gordon Neufeld, PhD

Psychologist & Author

Dr. Gordon Neufeld is a Vancouver-based developmental psychologist with over 40 years of experience with children and youth and those responsible for them. A foremost authority on child development, Dr. Neufeld is an international speaker, a bestselling author, Hold On to Your Kids and a leading interpreter of the developmental paradigm. Dr. Neufeld has a widespread reputation for making sense of complex problems and for opening doors for change. While formerly involved in university teaching and private practice, he now devotes his time to teaching and training others, including educators and helping professionals. His Neufeld Institute is now a worldwide organization devoted to applying developmental science to the task of raising children. Dr. Neufeld appears regularly on radio and television. He is a father of five and a grandfather of three.

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