Assertiveness and Self-Defense Against Bullying
Empower your child against bullying by teaching them assertiveness skills to stand up against bullying. Role-play various scenarios, helping them practice effective responses that are firm, clear, and non-confrontational. Small studies in Indonesia and India showed the effectiveness of assertiveness training programs applied to schools. The higher the child’s social competence and self-esteem improved, the more confident the children were in handling bullying tactics (Melhem, 2020).
In more severe cases involving physical bullying and assault, enrolling your child in a self-defense class can boost their self-esteem and provide them with valuable tools to protect themselves physically if necessary. It is scary to be put in a position where a child needs to protect themselves. It is important to prepare them in advance, with the understanding that self-defense is to protect oneself only, not to actively hurt others when angry or upset.
Collaborating with School Authorities
Work in collaboration with your child’s school to address the issue of bullying. Establish a positive relationship with teachers, counselors, and administrators. Report incidents promptly and provide them with accurate information, allowing them to take appropriate action.
Sometimes it is frustrating to work with the school system because nothing seems to get done. Many times, teachers do not get the support they need from management in terms of their own mental health. When teachers suffer from high classroom loads, overtime, and general lack of support, it is hard to make lasting changes in their students.
Encourage the school administration to implement comprehensive anti-bullying policies and programs that promote empathy, respect, and inclusivity. Utilize your support system with other parents to work together to make change from the top down. Seek out local resources or media to help spread the message.
Seeking Professional Help to Empower Your Child Against Bullying
In some cases, the impact of bullying may be severe, leading to significant emotional distress. If your child exhibits signs of prolonged anxiety, depression, or a decline in academic performance, consider seeking professional help from a counselor or therapist. These professionals can offer guidance, support, and strategies to help your child heal and cope. By increasing a child’s confidence, lasting change can be made.
Bullying can have lasting effects on adolescents, but with the right support and strategies, parents can empower their children to overcome these challenges. By fostering open communication, building resilience, teaching assertiveness, collaborating with schools, and seeking professional help, when necessary, parents can play a vital role in tackling bullying. Together, we can create a safe and nurturing environment where all adolescents can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. HopeNation is here to help!
Herman, H., Nurshal, D., & Novrianda, D. (2020). The effect of assertive training on bullying in junior high school. Jurnal Keperawatan Soedirman, 15(1).
Smith, P.K.; Del Barrio, C.; Tokunaga, R. (2012) Definitions of Bullying and Cyberbullying: How Useful Are the Terms? In S. Bauman, J. Walker y D. Cross (Eds) Principles of Cyberbullying Research. Definitions, measures and methodology (pp.26-40). NYork/Londres: Routledge.
Olthof, T., & Goossens, F. A. (2008). Bullying and the need to belong: Early adolescents’ bullying-related behavior and the acceptance they desire and receive from particular classmates. Social Development, 17(1), 24–46.