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Here at Together Families, we connect Early Childhood Educators, Teachers and Parents. We encourage the sharing of ideas, knowledge and experiences to help build stronger and healthier children and families.

How to Discourage Bullying in the Pre-Teens

Almost every adult can think of a situation in their life where they were bullied or treated unfairly. We learn coping mechanisms and self-defense techniques and then try to pass these skills onto our children. What adults still struggle with is understanding situations in which they themselves have been the bully. Alternatively, we want to believe the best in our children, which can make it difficult to spot a power imbalance. Review these tips for nipping bullying behavior in the bud.

The natural reaction to being confronted with this issue is denial. How could your little angel hurt anyone? Try to keep an open mind and remember that kids are still learning how to interact.

Sit your child down and kindly tell them that other children or teachers have felt hurt by their behavior. Make sure you reinforce that you love them no matter what and you will work together to change their action patterns.

Explain to them all the behaviors that can be classified as bulling; name calling, making fun of people, hitting, pushing, biting etc.

Have a calm discussion with any parent who has complained about your child. Make sure you are both aware that certain actions are completely normal for young children and also cover which ones aren’t.

Meet with the teacher to get a more unbiased opinion about any incidents.

Children learn a lot of behaviors from the home. Make sure they aren’t learning any of the above bullying tactics from you. While it may seem cute for you to playfully push your partner, in the eyes of a child there is no difference.

Create reasonable punishments for unacceptable behavior. It is very important to be aware that any kind of physical punishment sends the worst message possible.

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