Due to everything that has been going on in the news lately we decided to focus on bullying and cyber bullying in February.
Our Newsletters have addressed the issue through blogs, especially the one by the Cyber Safety Cop and passing on resource materials that parents can use in future conversations with their children.
We’d decided on the February topic before some of the traumatic events of the month unfolded. Following the #metoo movement, I felt that the education process pertaining to fostering healthy self-esteem and self-worth needs to begin as young as three years of age.
Self-esteem and self-worth are qualities that begin very early in life, and parents can create a foundation for how children will feel about their selves going forward.
So, what does this have to do with a child being able to handle a bully? The more a child feels confident and has resilient qualities, the more they’ll be able to handle bullies– especially cyber bullies. A bully is usually someone who preys upon a weaker, less self-assured child, because ultimately, they feel if they make that person feel hurt or bad it will bolster their own lack of self-esteem. A child who knows they are loved and supported will be in a better place to resist, and not have it affect them.
A child who hasn’t had their basic needs met (loved, nurtured, compassion, safety, being heard and positive reinforcement) will easily be affected by someone who chips away at their self-worth.
I also believe the more parents instill healthy attitudes and behaviors, their children will feel safe and comfortable going parents with any issue or concern. Conversely, when a parent hasn’t nurtured their child, that child will be less likely to go to their parent when they need help and support. I believe one of the many reasons we’re seeing unhealthy behaviors and negative outcomes is due to the lack of parents meeting the basic needs of children.
We realize that tween and teen girls are notorious for being “mean and catty” towards each other and not thinking twice about tearing down another girl’s self-esteem, but the same is happening to boys and they are ill prepared to deal with the type of bullying and cyber bullying that many have experienced.
Ten Tools for raising healthy, resilient, esteemed young people:
- Start early (by age three), but it’s never too late
- Keep communicating
- Be careful in your language, judgements and criticisms
- Remember that young people need their basic needs met regularly
- Be loving, compassionate and empathetic
- Help your child to discover their strengths and overcome their weaknesses
- Help your child to understand why some children need to bully
- Be very clear that if your child encounters a bully that they must come to you
- Deal with your own issues so you can be a positive influence in your child’s life
- Unplug and have healthy family time
I express to parents in each of my classes is that even after you’ve completed a class, we have you covered. Each week we have an informative newsletter, blogs and classes, for each stage and age. It has always been my philosophy that by offering these resources to parents, and through their willingness to utilize them, the end game will be children who feel so good about themselves that they won’t be tempted to engage in high-risk behaviors. Plus, parents and kids will have a healthy ongoing relationship!