Bullying is a common problem for children (and even for some adults). Few things are more painful for a parent than seeing their child in tears because of a bully. We’ve written before about some great children’s books you can use to discuss bullying with your child, but it’s also important for parents to educate themselves on the topic. The way a parent responds to a bullying situation can make a huge difference to their child. If parents provide the right kind of support, they can help their children build resilience and confidence.
I highly recommend Bullyproof Your Child For Life: Protect Your Child from Teasing, Taunting, and Bullying for Good by Joel Haber. Joel Haber is an expert in the prevention of bullying. While his book won’t make your child immune from bullying, it will help you understand the root causes of bullying, detect the early signs of bullying, identify different types of bullying (e.g. physical, verbal, relational/social), understand why kids become bullies, targets or bystanders, and empower you to support your children.
The book explores different situations and gives parents suggestions on how to respond. It also dispels “myths” about bullying. For example, contrary to what is depicted in movies, bullies do not have low self-esteem. Bullies often are the most charismatic children in the class. Another example is about hitting back. Old TV shows often show a young boy fighting back and punching a bully in order to end a bullying problem. In reality, such an approach could escalate the situation and be harmful to your child.