Stop bullying with assertiveness

Parents can stop bullying with assertiveness. This one character trait can be taught using modelling and rehearsing.

What is assertiveness?

Assertiveness is a character trait that acknowledges a persons worth. It allows us to be unique beings with our own ideas, opinions and talents. We understand we are worthy of respect and can think for ourselves. It allows us to be who we are, set limits, boundaries and express ourselves. 

Assertiveness is somewhere in the middle of passive like some bullying targets and aggressive like some bullies.

 being Passive

A person who is passive allows themselves to be  lead into trouble or allows a bully to hurt them. Being Passive means you don't have limits or boundaries and you allow other people to decide what is best for you.

A Passive person may avoid eye contact, slouch, feel unworthy, and be unable to set limits which allows them to be targeted by a bully. They do not speak up because they do not respect themselves and understand their worth. Like the classic bully victim.

Being Aggressive

Aggressive people try to control others and push them around or bully them. They have an exaggerated idea of their worthiness and believe others are less than which allows them to hurt others without empathy. 

An aggressive person might try to make themselves feel more important by making others feel wrong in some way. They generally are pushy and try to force what they believe on others and  control them. Like the classic bully.

Being Assertive

An assertive person has their own ideas but are open to the wisdom of others. This person speaks their truth about what they think and how they feel as opposed to just telling people what they want to hear.

An assertive person is able to stop and think when a situation makes them feel uneasy, is hurtful or might  get them into trouble. They understand they are worthy and deserve respect. They can say "no" tactfully and get help when it is needed.

A child who stands tall, can look you in the eye, knows they are worthy and speaks their truth is difficult to bully. 

Practicing assertiveness

Parents may find they have difficulty with assertiveness. It is one of those things that is easier said than done. However, to assist your child and stop bullying with assertiveness you will need to be able to model it for your child (which means you are assertive and they naturally follow your lead) and help them rehearse assertive phrases and walking with confidence.

Actions to Stop bullying with assertiveness

Rehearsing being assertive with your child can be good for both of you. Realizing you are worthy and deserve respect is a powerful tool for both you and your child. To follow are some suggestions to help your child stop bullying with assertiveness. 

  • Get your child to practice walking with head up as if they are very important and have somewhere important to be.
  • Practice respectful yet assertive eye contact. You don't want to aggressively stare the bully down but you don't want to be staring at the floor in shame either.
  • Rehearse some assertive phrases your child can say to the bully. Things like "I don't deserve this" "Stop you are bullying me and I am done being picked on" "It's over, I will not be a part of this anymore, leave me alone" 
  • Also discuss the scenarios your child finds himself in when the bullying occurs. Would it be a good idea just to walk or run away? Can he get someone to help?  

Problem solving the specific situations your child finds herself in and rehearsing a few different options can make the difference and stop bullying with assertiveness.

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