As much as you’d like to protect your kids from everything, there comes a point in each child’s life where mommy and daddy can’t immediately step in to help. This can be hard when child needs to deal with a mean kid or bully. Although you can’t fight your kids’ battles for them, you can help equip your children with the skills needed to deal with these mean kids.
Identify the Behavior
If your kid comes home from school complaining about a mean kid, talk to your child and try to identify the mean behavior. Oftentimes, young children get into small arguments for little to no reason, but are back to being best friends within a minute or two. By identifying the behavior, you and your child can discuss why that other child was being mean. Maybe your child wouldn’t share blocks or another child just hurt their feelings.
Talk It Out
Once you know what the issue is, you can help your child learn how to talk it out with the mean kid. Help your child understand that it’s ok to ask the mean kid why they’re not being nice or if there’s something wrong. By using kind and gentle words to help solve the problem, many times the mean kid will reveal that they are feeling hurt or that they were unaware they were being mean.
If your child isn’t sure how to deal with the mean kids, role play a situation that has happened or that could happen. First, pretend that you’re the bully and let your child react to the situation. You can then reverse roles, letting your child pretend to be the mean kid while you model the right behavior to solve problems.
If there is no reasoning with the mean kids, you’ll need to teach your child to ignore them. If possible, teach your child to move to another area of the room to learn or play and to avoid the mean kids when it comes to partner work. By ignoring them, your child is letting the mean kids know that they aren’t going to play along with any mean games.
There’s no single way to teach your child to deal with mean kids. Unfortunately, when it comes to kids, not every situation is the same. The child could be acting mean because they’re hurt or upset. Maybe the other child has been abused or lacks the social skills needed to make friends. By teaching your child different ways to handle a mean kid situation, you’re giving them the tools they need to peacefully solve their problems. If a situation with a mean kid persists, you can then step in, contacting parents or teachers to see what needs to be done to keep everyone happy and safe.
Do you have any other tips you can share about teaching your child how to deal with mean kids? I would love to hear them.