No parents want to hear their child is being bullied. Should this come to light in your family, how would you react? My mission and passion is to have adults and children believe in themselves so that they take away the power of any bully.
If faced with a bully, you might go one of two ways: Maybe you ignore the situation because you aren’t sure what to say or do. Or maybe the momma and papa bears come out. You focus on wanting to punish the bully to get him or her to stop. In either case, allow the Compass of the Heart to guide you to the best way to support your child.
What is the Compass of the Heart? It involves compassion, acceptance, appreciation and connection. If you follow the elements in this equation that I’ve created, C2 + A2 = Impact, you and your child can face the situation and take charge of it.
First, have compassion for yourself as you figure out what is best for your child. The right thing to do is different for each incident. But what is always right is to show compassion for your child.
Stop. Spend focused time with him.
Look. Let your child know you are there for her by looking at her when she is talking.
Listen. Comments like, “Wow, that must have been hard to hear,” will encourage him to keep talking. Knowing that you set aside time to talk allows your child to feel better about who he is despite what the bully said.
You can’t stop the bully any more than you can stop the rain. What you can do is give your children the tools to protect themselves from the rain of words from the bully. You are teaching your kids to trust themselves.
You can help them accept who they are by listing their Talents, Abilities and Gifts — a TAGs system I created to help empower confident kids. Their TAGs tell them they ARE somebody, perhaps an artist, musician or athlete (talents) who is creative, inventive and imaginative (abilities). They brighten our world with their delightful painting, playful song and encouragement of their teammates (gifts).
When children know their strengths and weaknesses, they can admit what is true. When a bully says, “You’re so stupid. Look at that grade!” A TAGGED kid knows to say, “Yeah, I do struggle with math. Can you help me?” Now, the bully has lost his power.
Appreciate the gift you are in your children’s lives. Make your own TAG list. The gift you give in stopping, looking and listening and then showing them how valuable they are with their TAGs is that you allow them to feel important. Appreciating them by letting them know they matter is like an umbrella in the rain when the bully calls them a name.
When they are confident about who they are, they can say to the bully, “That’s your opinion. I KNOW who I am.” The bully can no longer define them. Since we are only hurt by the bullies if we believe them, now your child will not be hurt by the words, and in fact, can feel stronger because they knew what to say.
As you have gone through this process, you first got connected to you. Then, you have stayed present with your child and given him or her the support and encouragement they need to believe in themselves despite what the bully said. Now, you have a deeper connection. They can trust you are there for them. What a gift that is!
C2 + A2 = Impact
Day by day, as you repeat the process of guiding your child with the Compass of the Heart and taking the time to stop, look and listen, he or she will feel more secure about who they are. It’s like you gave them an umbrella, raincoat, and boots to protect themselves from the storm of words from the bully. Since they can’t control what others say or do, having tools to take care of themselves is the best answer.