Is your child afraid to go to the lunchroom, bathroom, or playground because of a bully? Is his schoolwork or attendance suffering because he is worried about being picked on?
Studies show that one in four kids is bullied. For years, bullying was treated as an unavoidable rite of passage. But recent research reveals that the effects of bullying can last well into adulthood; that's why it's crucial to find out if your child is being bullied.
"Kids don't always come out and tell their parents they are afraid. Signs of being bullied include tummy aches, nightmares, reluctance to go to school and loss of confidence," says Gregory B. Watkins, author of A "Big Beaked Big Bellied Bird Named Bill". "If your child displays these signals, it's time you intervene."
The father of four and the youngest of eight children, Watkins passionately educates children about sticking up for the little guy. The former Vietnam Marine wrote "A Big Beaked Big Bellied Bird Named Bill," the first in a series, to teach children individuality and acceptance.
Here Watkins shares five ways to pump up your child's spirit when they've been pestered by a bully:
1. Talk it over.
Your child may be embarrassed or scared and may try to deny it. Don't give up. It may take five or more "sessions" to find the heart of the problem.
2. Make it clear it is not their fault.
Point out that many bullies are just trying to show off or get attention.
3. Offer ideas.
If your child is getting bullied because of poor social skills, help by teaching them better social skills.
4. Role play.
See how your child acts around other kids and help your child work out acceptable responses.
5. Instill pride.
Help them accept who they are and be proud of it. A confident child is less likely to be bullied.
Don't let a bully kill your child's confidence. Stay in-the-know about what's going on in your children's lives and always be ready to help them feel good about themselves.
Want to know more about how to make a difference in your child's life? Get the free report "6 Steps to Turn that Bully into Your Friend" at Watkins web site.
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