1. Keep Your Cool
A bully is seeking to create fear and control. All experts agree that the most important thing to do is stay calm. This applies in all raised-anxiety situations. Think clearly and speak little. A bully is seeking reaction. Do not give it.
2. Walk Away
As stated above, a bully wants reaction more than anything else. If possible, simply walk away. This steals away the thrill for the bully. Not being there to hear the threats or insults can likely stop the behavior towards you.
3. Strength in Numbers
Whenever possible, plan to walk with a friend or two when you are in areas you have been confronted. This might be recess, the lunch room, or in between classes. It is more intimidating for a bully to single you out when you are surrounded by supportive friends.
4. Face Your Fear
In some cases confronting the bully is your only option. Do not engage in either physical or verbal assaults. Simply stand up for yourself and tell the person to stop. You can also use a few well-timed comebacks. Such as, “Aren’t you tired of this yet?” Or, “I’ve got better things to do than listen to your nonsense.” Then walk away.
5. Know Thy Enemy
The most powerful weapon on earth is the human mind. Use it. Consider the person who is bullying you and what circumstances they may be under. In almost all cases, they are acting out in reaction to troubles in their own life. Maybe they are being abused. Maybe they are suffering from neglect. All sorts of tragic events could be the cause of the behavior. If an opening is given, offer your support and understanding. You may save a life.
6. Tell an Adult
It is important to learn how to handle your own social situations. It’s a part of growing up. However, if the bullying turns to threats of violence or emotional harm, it is time to tell your parents or teachers. Let an adult know exactly what has been happening. They will take the appropriate steps to end it.
7. Remove the Target
Sometimes children are ridiculed or harassed for specific reasons. Kids can be cruel. If there are changes that you can make to remove the target from your back, then do so. For example, if you are a Cowboys fan and you go to an Eagles game wearing a Tony Romo jersey, you are going to be harassed. Same thing applies in childhood. Make an effort to fit in with your age group.
Children with low self-esteem are likely targets of bullying. Take steps to improve this. Martial arts such as tae-kwon-do offer a fantastic way of helping a child gain confidence as well as maturity. Above all, make sure your own home is a secure and nurturing place.
9. Warning Signs
Statistics say that most bullying occurs between 6th and 8th grades and that males are more likely to be bullies as well as victims. Keep a close eye on your child during this time. Some possible signs there might be a problem are increased absenteeism, falling grades and depression. Talk to your child constantly about what is going on in his life. Make sure they know they are free to talk to you about anything and everything.
10. Take It Very Serious
If your child brings it up, chances are it’s a serious matter. So deal with it as such. School shootings have increased dramatically in recent years. Cyber bullying has resulted in several highly publicized teen suicides. Get all the information you can gather and if you need to, take it to the principal of your child’s school. Better safe than sorry.