Research tells us that there are certain kids that are more likely to be bullied (traditional bullying) than others. The character profile for victims is typically passive or submissive types. These children usually have the following characteristics:
• Cautious, sensitive, quiet, withdrawn and shy
• Are often anxious, insecure, unhappy and have low self-esteem
• May be depressed and/or engaged in suicidal ideation much more often than their peers
• Often do not have a single good friend and relate better to adults than to peers
• If they are boys, they may be physically weaker than their peers
• Often kids with learning or attention problems are targeted, especially if the class perceives that the teacher may not like the child.
Please read more on victims and their characteristics at apa.org/research/action/bullying.aspx (research done by Dan Olweus)
In order to reduce your child’s chances of being victimized, it is important to help them appear less likely to be an easy target. Helping your children with the following three things can help:
1) Assertiveness training (including choice of words, body language, tone of voice)
2) Problem solving
3) Confidence and self-esteem building
4) Resiliency training
First, parents should have open conversations about various social issues with their children before any problems begin. Make these conversations commonplace in your home. You can do this by:
1) Role playing different possible scenarios with your child and have them practice being more assertive in their response
2) Have your child practice their response in front of a mirror so they are aware of their facial expressions, posture and body language
3) Have you child make an audio recording of their voice so they are aware of how they sound to others (are their statements strong, believable and firm?)
4) Send your child to school with a “toolbox” they can use to solve or negotiate social concerns
5) Make sure your child knows when to get an adult involved.
6) Show off your problem-solving and negotiation skills by modeling for your child an appropriate, respectful, but assertive way of dealing with a social issue
Parents can also go to www.fishfulthinking.com to get great tips on building confident, assertive and resilient kids.
Need more help? In honor of Self-Esteem Awareness Month and Mental Health Awareness Month, Child and Family Psychology, located in Franklin Square, New York will be holding Assertiveness Training and Confidence Building workshops for children, tweens and teens. Please go to www.psychologists4kids.com and sign up for “Bully-proof My kid” by contacting Dr. Renee, on the Contact Us page. Don’t forget to specify that you are looking to sign up for the Bully Proof My Kid series. A parent series will be offered to parents looking to build resiliency and confidence in their children.
Child and Family Psychology presents the following workshops in honor of National Self-Esteem and Mental Health Awareness Month: Bully-proof My Kid: Empowering Children and Adolescents to Overcome Social Abuse.
1) Elementary series for children Grades 1-3
2) Middle School series for children Grades 4-6
3) Tween series for children Grades 7-8
4) High School series for teenagers
5) Parent series
It is recommended that parents who enroll their children in one of these workshops also take the parent series
• Small groups, 4-5 children
• Most insurance accepted
• For more information and to sign up for a workshop, contact Dr. Renee Clauselle through our website and specify that you are interested in the "Bully-proof My Kid" workshop.