Raising Strong Children
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Raising Strong Children

In the U.S., 1 in 5 students report being bullied in the last year — 41% expect it to happen again

Bullying & Biases

  • Minorities Are More Likely To Be Bullied
Race Percent of students  Percent of victims
White 53% 23%
Black 14% 23%
Latinx 24% 16%
Asian 6% 7%
Other 4% 23%
  • 6 in 10 LGBTQ students feel unsafe at school 
    • 1 in 3 missed at least one day in the last month due to bullying
  • Up to 1 in 3 students in special education experience bullying 
    • They are 2X as likely to scolded when reporting bullying to adults
  • Consequences Of Bullying Are Serious
    • Students facing bullying 2.6X more likely to attempt suicide 
    • Bullying leads to physical and emotional health effects, including
      • Depression & anxiety
      • Sleep difficulties
      • Lower academic achievement
    • Bullying based on these biases has stronger negative physical and emotional health effects than general bullying
  • Why Don’t People Speak Up?
    • Fight Or Flight: Our brains natural response to tense situations to act aggressively or avoid the situations entirely
    • Go Along To Get Along: Social pressures often call for niceness and compromise above other values
    • Lack Of Confidence: Low self-esteem makes speaking up difficult — Many believe their actions would be pointless
    • Fear Of Consequences: Creating more conflict may mean punishment, loss of friendships, or becoming the victim themselves

“Given the current landscape surrounding bullying (traditional or online), it has become very difficult for a victim to voluntarily speak out without the fear of being publicly shamed or humiliated further” – Andrew Rossow, Internet Attorney, Anti-bullying Advocate, & Creator of the #CYBERBYTE Movement

Support from peers has a the greatest impact against bullying

Teaching Kids The Skills To Speak Up

  • How Does Your Child Communicate?
    • Passive: Acts as if others are more important than themselves
      • May struggle to make eye contact or speak very quietly
    • Aggressive: Acts as if they are more important than others
      • Often loud, imposing — May try to stand taller than others
    • Assertive: Treats others as equals and stand up for themselves
      • Stay calm, speak firmly, and make eye contact
  • Teaching Kids To Be Assertive

Anyone can learn to be assertive, but what assertiveness looks like will differ based on your child’s personality

  • The Power Of “No”
    • Teach kids when they have the right to say “no”
      • Kids can set their own boundaries, such as
        • Refusing to hug a family member or friend
        • Choosing not to play with a bossy friend
      • But some things are beyond their control, such as
        • Rules made to keep them safe and healthy
        • How others behave or react in any situation
  • How To Be An Ally
    • Victims of bullying say speaking up for themselves often makes things worse — But peer support can make a big difference
    • Bullied students say peers can make things better by
      • Spending time with me 54%
      • Helping me get away 49%
      • Helping tell adults what happened 44%     
    • Reach out to an adult or organizations like the Cybersmile Foundation and Random Acts Organization

Speaking up when problems arise isn’t always enough — Kids must also know how to find a solution, and when to ask for help

Solving Problems Together

  • Thinking Through Problems

Learning to solve everyday problems is great practice for when conflicts arise

  • Step 1: Identify The Problem
    • Find the root cause of the problem
    • Help your child by talking about their feelings
    • Example: “I feel frustrated because I always miss the bus”
  • Step 2: Break It Down
    • Break the problem into manageable parts
    • Help your child by talking about cause and effect
    • Example: “I missed the bus because my homework wasn’t done and I hadn’t brushed my teeth”
  • Step 3: Small Steps
    • Fix the problem one small step at a time
    • Help your child by offering specific solutions to choose from
    • Example: “I’ll do my homework before dinner instead of at breakfast”
  • The Size Of The Problem

Let your child fix kid-size problems alone and teach them when to ask for help

  • Glitch: A problem so small it doesn’t need fixing — such as losing a game
    • Kids should: Take a deep breath and refocus
  • Little: Something kids can fix themselves — such as a tablet battery dying
    • Kids should: Solve the problem
  • Medium: A short term problem that needs adult help — such as bullying
    • Kids should: Stay calm and ask for help
  • Big: A long term problem that needs adult help — such as someone getting hurt
    • Kids should: Find an adult as quickly as possible
  • Huge: An emergency — such as car accident or tornado
    • Kids should: Stay calm and listen to adults
  • Be Prepared For Big Problems
    • Know How To Help:
      • Whatever the size of the problem, adults should
        • Coach kids to identify their feelings
        • Guide thinking about others’ feelings
        • Help to brainstorm possible solutions
      • For big problems, adults should know how to help
        • Practice your own assertiveness and problem solving
        • Continuing to learn and be aware of your own biases
        • Find support and resources to help address needs
      • Schools are legally required to investigate and address bullying
        • All 50 states have anti-bullying laws that require schools to act
        • Federal laws provide additional protections for
          • Bullying based on race, ethnicity, sex, or religion
          • Students with disabilities and thinking differences
        • Go to stopbullying.gov to learn more
    • Practice Makes Perfect: Everyday activities are perfect opportunities to practice problem solving, empathy, and assertiveness
      • Role playing games and pretend play
      • Stories featuring assertive characters
      • Challenging puzzles and strategy games
    • Tips To Remember: 
      • Give your child the space to make mistakes and recover on their own
      • Create challenges to your match child’s skill without becoming frustrating
      • Offer solutions and guidance to help coach your child toward a solution
      • Let your child see how you and other adults discuss and solve problems

Never Stop Learning: Raising a strong child means facing your own biases

Silence is complacence. Teach your kids to stand up for what’s right.

Raising Strong Children facebook

Sources: 

https://www.pacer.org/bullying/resources/stats.asp

https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2019/2019054.pdf

https://www.glsen.org/sites/default/files/2019-10/GLSEN-2017-National-School-Climate-Survey-NSCS-Full-Report.pdf

https://njbullying.org/documents/YVPMarch2010.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/yv/bullying-factsheet508.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24155192

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22390513

https://psychcentral.com/lib/5-tips-to-increase-your-assertiveness/2/

https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/building-assertiveness-how-to-help-your-quiet-child-speak-up

https://biglifejournal.com/blogs/blog/how-to-raise-assertive-child

https://www.allprodad.com/10-ways-teach-children-problem-solvers/

http://speechymusings.com/2015/02/23/size-of-the-problem-activities/

https://www.understood.org/en/friends-feelings/common-challenges/bullying/bullying-laws

https://www.stopbullying.gov/resources/laws

https://www.ecmhc.org/tutorials/social-emotional/mod4_3.html#:~:text=Teach%20a%20problem%20solving%20procedure,and%204)%20Try%20the%20solution