Children learn how to react to all kinds of situations from us. As grandparents we have a huge role to play in shaping their attitudes and behaviour.
Bullying is a systematic and harmful behaviour that can have devastating effects on everyone involved, even the bully.
If you are concerned about your grandchild’s wellbeing, and you think they may be bullied talk to his or her parents and their school.
Fixing bullying takes time. Removing the bully from the school through expulsion or suspension won’t stop them from bullying.
Labelling children is also counterintuitive because labels have a habit of sticking, and children tend to live up to them.
If your grandchild is being bullied, ask what you can do, and be patient. Don’t tell the child to ignore it, but instead find out what the school and experts are saying and reinforce this.
We all understand that bullies are victims too. Many are acting out and taking over scenarios which they have been in, and in which they were powerless. As the bully, they are getting back that power.
If we model kindness and understanding, our grandchildren will learn to do the same. The most important thing we can remember is that the hardest thing is to be kind to those who don’t seem to deserve it, but need it most.
If you act with respect towards others in your life, your grandchildren will do the same. This can be more difficult than you imagine.
Do you get home and complain about someone cutting you off in traffic?
Do you yell at politicians on the TV?
Do you snip or complain about other family members behind their back?
None of the above scenarios is a recommended way to show respect. No doubt, we all feel like behaving in these ways at times, but it is important to cultivate an environment of respect so our grandchildren can emulate it.
If we act with patience, kindness and respect our grandchildren will begin to pay attention to the way we treat others. They will understand how to behave when they are stressed or anxious. They will know what it is the right behaviour when they are facing a difficult or unpleasant situation.
They will learn that bullying is not acceptable, and will deal with it in a positive way.
For more great tips see – What does bullying look like? A grandparents’ guide
For more great tips visit Stop Bullying or talk to your grandchild’s teacher for more information about what their school is doing to combat bullying.
Astro’s Down in the Dumps
Astro’s Down in the Dumps is a great children’s book created to help build resilience in children. Its full color illustrations and story completely written in rhyme gives children six skills they can use to help lift their mood, and cheer themselves up. This book is aimed at children aged 8 years and up, but can also be read to younger children. It’s the sort of book which children will go back to over and over again.