10 ways to help your child overcome bullying

November 30, 2019
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    According to a 2017 study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 15-year-olds in Singapore experience the third highest rate of bullying globally.

    Here are some suggestions on how you can help your child deal with bullying from a young age.

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  • Understand what bullying is
    2 / 11 Understand what bullying is

    Bullies often start small, with verbal harassment, and some even “befriend” their victims to get close to them and later terrorise them. Point out the differences between harmless teasing and full-blown bullying to your child.

    Related: Bullying in Singapore: When your kid suddenly has no friends

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  • Manage his emotions
    3 / 11 Manage his emotions

    Staying calm and collected in the face of adversity not only applies to bullying, but in life, as well. Your child cannot change the situation he is in, but he can change his reactions and how he feels about it. Roadblocks will pop up in his life, and it is up to him to not let them affect him.

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  • Make more friends
    4 / 11 Make more friends

    A 2010 journal revealed that bullies were more likely to pick on children who were unpopular and thus less likely to have friends to stand up for them. Encourage your kid to be more sociable and if need be, organise outings for him and his friends.

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  • Promote positive body language
    5 / 11 Promote positive body language

    A child with lower EQ may not know when he’s offended others. Observe your child’s body language at home, and encourage him to smile more, or say things differently.

    Related: Westwood Secondary students counselled and disciplined after bullying video goes viral

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  • Prepare for it
    6 / 11 Prepare for it

    Role playing could help prepare your child for bullying in real life. Some suggestions include, “What would you do if someone started to spread rumours about you?”, or “What would you do if someone took your lunch box?”

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  • Promote love and compassion
    7 / 11 Promote love and compassion

    Teaching your child to be positive and caring towards others can minimise the chances of his being bullied.

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  • Communicate with your child
    8 / 11 Communicate with your child

    Often, children are embarrassed to talk about being bullied in school, and do not want to think about the incident by broaching it any further. Listen to your child and ask him what he wants you to do. Allow him to handle the situation by himself first while you monitor the situation.

    Related: 1 in 5 sec 3 kids in Singapore has been verbally bullied

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  • Intervene
    9 / 11 Intervene

    Having bystanders step in usually stops the bullying incident in its tracks, so educate your child to step in if he sees anyone being taken advantage of. This makes him more confident when he is being bullied himself. Remind your child to be firm and have courage.

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  • Prepare to step in
    10 / 11 Prepare to step in

    Sometimes, things may spiral out of control and your child may not be able to stop the bullying on his own. Take the initiative to talk to your child’s teachers and the bully’s parents.

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  • Be a role model
    11 / 11 Be a role model

    Some of us might have experienced bullying when we were younger, or at the very least, heard personal anecdotes from friends. Using your own experiences could encourage your child to talk to you about similar problems – it assures him that you understand how he feels. A child also learns by example, so if you are confident and respectful, he will follow your lead.

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

    10 signs that your child is being bullied
    4 things you must do when your kid bullies another kid

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