As we reflect on “childhood”, experiences like playing with friends, getting 100% on a spelling test, and walking across the stage for high school graduation illustrate shared memories that have become synonymous with what it means to be a kid. Unfortunately, too many people share the experience of being bullied as a child, but we don’t have to accept that because of its frequency, it must be considered merely a part of "growing up".
Bullying is the type of experience that resonates for years after its initial occurrence. The words and deeds continue to cause both physical and emotional pain long after any physical marks may have healed. Often children are advised to “ignore” or “walk away” from the perpetrator, but that passive approach can leave the victim with feelings of helplessness; rather than the strength of empowerment. How can children build a sense of internal strength that can support them during experiences of challenge?
Resiliency can be the “internal strength” needed to overcome stress and anxiety. By definition, resiliency is defined as the ability to recover readily from adversity. Teaching children “how” to develop that resiliency could be the tool that could make all of the difference. Here are some strategies that can foster a sense of resilency:
Help kids to feel “connected” to both classmates and adults in their daily lives, so they have known resources across environments, when help may needed.
Benefit from the structure of a daily routine to ensure a sense of predictability, which helps kids to feel "safe" in their lives.
As a preventive resource against becoming overwhelmed, help kids to enjoy a “break” from the worries of day-to-day life.
Teach self-care skills as a means for kids to learn how they can protect themselves against the challenges of their daily experiences.
Build a positive self image, as a great tool against actions of bullying.
We can stop bullying from becoming a shared experience by infusing resiliency into our kids’ internal skill sets.