Bullying continues to be a source of concern in school across America. Constant bullying can lead to anxiety, depression, anger, and low self-esteem in children who are victimized. It is important to talk to your children about bullying and the appropriate means by which to handle the harassment and protect themselves socially, emotionally, and physically. Open communication with your child is the key to understanding your child's perspective and providing them with the guidance and insight they need to cope and be resilient. Be proactive. Look for the signs that your child may be getting bullied (withdrawal, fear of going to school, increased concern over appearance, angry outbursts, and crying spells). Sit down and talk to your child about their thoughts and feelings. Engage your child in active communication about all topics, especially bullying.
Improving Communication With Your Child
Communication is vital to creating and maintaining a strong relationship with your child. As a parent, you need to ask who, what, where, and when. Engage your child in talking about their day, the events that happened, and how they felt about it. Children need to learn how to express their thoughts and feelings to others, especially to their parents. Practice these skills with your child everyday. Devote time alone with your child, away from distractions, to talk about how they are and what is going on in their lives. The proactive parent is involved and is concerned. Be proactive. Learn to hold family meetings every week. This will encourage open communication between all family members and will strengthen the bond within your family.
Children want and need to understand the rules of their world. They want to know what is expected of them, what is appropriate behavior, how far they can go, and what the consequences will be if they go too far. Setting limits and providing clear and consistent consequences not only increases the harmony of your home but provides children with vital moral development and contributes to a child setting their own personal limits and boundaries. Limits define a path of acceptable behavior and define the roles that exist within the family dynamic.
Teaching children strong study skills is vital to their success in school and their overall commitment to education. Children need to learn the value and importance of completing homework, reading books, researching a topic of interest, and studying for tests. These skills set the stage for future success in high school, college, and beyond.