It sucks worse if your kids have it.
It sucks the most if, when faced with bullies, your kids pathetically wilt in fear and mentally crumple to the ground.
Which is why you should raise them with the following MamaBear technique.
Role-play scary situations with them.
I was vividly reminded of this ("vividly", like "watching a car come skidding straight at you" "vividly") yesterday when I put myself in the role of the mediator between some individuals rather dear to me.
To make a long story short, the time came where I had to impose my awesomely massive physical presence in the conversation.
- Now, given the fact I'm shorter than most unevolved mollusks, this is quite a challenging thing to do.
But after giving myself permission to impose, here's what I learned.
It's not just height that commands attention – it's the *attitude*.
True, height *does* help! 🙂
But calmness, direct eye contact and a refusal to be bullied can carry a person a long, long way indeed. I remember that there were *zero* questions in my mind; I was going to *stop* the abuse come hell or high water, and I was *not* going to allow myself to be steamrollered in response. And I think that *attitude* communicated itself far more deadly-like than any physical aspect of myself ever could.
Let's apply this to your children, shall we?
When confronted by a bully, it's natural that kids will start to get emotional:
- Tempers will flare.
- Their heart-rate will quicken.
- They might feel the urge to cry.
All of which will contribute towards them being overpowered….even before any physical issue starts.
And when your children give into it, they lose the battle before it's even begun.
That's why you as a parent have to role-play with your kid about fear.
You can take on the role of the bully, and try to get your child to cry.
At every step, *stop* and explain to your kid just what's going on in the bully's mind.
- Ask your child, how are they feeling now?
- What physical reactions are happening?
- How are they handling it?
Take it a step further.
Push your kid to the ground.
And when she or he gets up, push them to the ground again.
Encourage them to get up and fight back.
Let them feel a controlled fear (as they know you love them, and would never intentionally hurt them).
Give them time to process it…
And then help them learn how to confront and defeat it.
Repetition will help them internalize their own personal strengths….
…Ideally ensuring that should they be bullied in school, they'll be able to handle it with a calmness the bully simply does not expect.
For more resources about bullying, check out:
Remember, you cannot as a parent stop bullies from testing out your children.
But you *can* choose to give your kids the tools necessary to bullet proof them as much as humanly possible.
And truly….your children deserve that, and more.