Two Tips for Teaching a Child How to Cope with Bullying

More than half of all teenagers in America see bullying as a major problem among their peers, according to a new survey by Pew Research. Teenagers were more likely to rank bullying as a problem than poverty, drug addiction or alcohol consumption. Anxiety and depression, problems that bullying contributes to, ranked high in the survey.

Here are just two of the many tips offered in a recent article by Joe Carter to assist parents in training a child to defend themselves and others against bullying:

Tip 1 - Encourage Intervention
Children must be taught to be defenders of those being bullied and not to be afraid to protect other people (Matthew 7:121 Thessalonians 5:14Hebrews 13:6). A child's willingness to intervene can make a significant difference. Research has shown that more than half the time, when children intervene and play the role of "defender," bullying stops within 10 seconds.

Rather than waiting until an incident occurs, pro-actively teaching children how to behave as a defender of others will equip them to be prepared.

According to Carter, at a minimum, children should be told to commit to the following:

  • I will not bully others.
  • I will try to help other children who are bullied.
  • I will try to include other children who are left out.
  • If I know somebody is being bullied, I will tell an adult at school and my parents.
  • I will pray both for those who are being bullied and those who are bullying others.

Tip 2 - Ask Children About Bullying 
Before making an assumption, ask children if they have been bullied. Only about 20 percent to 30 percent of students who are bullied notify adults about the bullying.

If the child admits to being bullied, let them know you are on their side. Dr. Walt Larimore explains that it is essential to refuse to believe any lies being told about him or her and not place blame on a child. According to Dr. Walt Larimore, "The bully is the disturbed one. Remind your children of their value in your and God's sight, and help them understand that no one can make them feel inferior without their permission."