Like many people I know, I had a few bullies throughout my life. Luckily, it was mostly before the days of social media. But even then, it was terrifying to think that an old bully could come back at any time and post a Myspace bulletin about me that mutual acquaintances would see.
For many people, social media has made bullying worse. And since it’s not going anywhere anytime soon, it’s better that we handle the topic of bullies and bullying before it even starts. Typically, bullying behavior can come from insecurity. Oftentimes, bullies choose a target in order to feel better about themselves. It’s common that they find someone who may also be insecure with how they look or the friends they have.
“Bullying is life-changing for those who are targeted,” writes Stephanie Kirby for BetterHelp. “When you’re bullied, it affects your self-esteem, and it causes social problems as well. Depression and teen suicide are higher among those who suffer from bullying.”
It can also last a long time. Hurtful actions and words are hard to forget. So that’s why it’s important to talk to your kids about bullies and bullying often. It’s important to reiterate that hateful comments aren’t accepted in your household. Kindness should be encouraged whenever possible.
It’s also important for your children to be allies and recognize the signs of bullying. It’s possible their friends may be bullied, and it’s important for your child to know how to help in such a situation. However, approaching the topic may be tough. It’s especially tough for parents who are handling it for the first time. Here’s how to talk to your kids about online bullies.
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