How to bully proof your child

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How to bully proof your child

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Bully proofing your child can be accomplished in three ways. The first way is to have conversations with your children on a regular basis about bullying. Just ask them, "Do they ever see bullying happening to other kids, are kids being mean to others and hurtful, and leave other kids out, and does that ever happen to you? That's just the first stage. The second thing is to anticipate that bullying will happen potentially with your children and role play with them before it even occurs. So you can say " If you're in a situation where a kid is physically aggressive with you, how would you handle that?" , to see if they can actually give you a suggestion. If they're going to react and scream, that's probably not the best suggestion. But tell them if that happens, let that kid know, "whoa" they've crossed the line, like just say, "Stop!". That's a way to show a kid what that line is. If they're excluded they should let a kid know "Hey, did I do something to upset you?" If not, then there's another issue there and you want your kid to walk away without showing a lot of drama like we talked about before. The third thing is I'm really big into teaching confidence skills. Behavioral confidence is a way kids can show that bullying is not going to be so impactful so they don't look like a target. You have to teach kids to stand up straight when they deal with bullying, to look kids in the eye, to show less reaction than they might want to show or feel, and to show that the bullying that's coming at them doesn't really affect them. When kids show behavioral confidence, there's not a lot of fun for the bully to continue.

View Joel Haber, PhD's video on How to bully proof your child...

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Joel Haber, PhD

Psychologist, Bullying & Parenting Expert, Author

Dr. Joel Haber is a Clinical Psychologist and internationally recognized bully prevention and parenting expert. He was selected as a webinar leader and a speaker for the Obama Administration Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention initiative.  He was also an invited participant to the Second Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit in 2011. His recent book, Bullyproof Your Child for Life: Protect Your Child from Teasing, Taunting and Bullying for Good set the bullying standard for schools, camps, sports, organizations and families dealing with bully prevention and intervention. He recently published The Resilience Formula: A Guide to Proactive, Not Reactive Parenting.  He is a consultant and expert to the American Camp Association, and to LG Electronics as a member of (LGTextEd.com), providing cyberbullying and mobile harassment expertise to parents and families. He is an advisor to Cartoon Network’s anti-bully campaign: Stop Bullying: Speak Up.  He is an expert for No Snap Judgments: The Addams Family Broadway Show- National Campaign to promote acceptance and tolerance amongst our youth. He is also co-founder of Tool Kits for Kids (toolkitsforkids.com), recipient of five national parenting awards for helping parents and kids develop the tools and emotional life skills to overcome worry, build confidence and develop resilience. He has written and published extensively, speaking each year to thousands of parents and educators to help make children’s lives, safer and better. 

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