In Anne: The Animated Series, Felix experiences bullying. An often troubling experience for kids and what all parents fear, Felix is picked on relentlessly by the new kid, Ralph.
In the episode “Bully by the Horns” what Felix experiences is quite common. Approximately 32% of students report being bullied. What’s worse is those who experience bullying are more likely to be involved with fights and will experience depression and struggle with their studies. With school starting next week, and with the help of Anne, we look at some tips that will help parents help their kids with bullying.
Talk to Your Children
If you suspect your child might be being bullied, there are usually a few signs, so talk to your children. Ask them about their school days, particularly during recess, lunch, time and after school. Pay attention to their reactions. Chances are if they aren’t saying much, that may be a sign of trouble.
Are you worried your child might be a bully? Talk to them about their friends; ask them how they are doing in school. Poor grades, fights or detention might be a sign your child may be a bully. Whether you suspect that your child is a bully or being bullied, talk to your children, ask questions, and be present.
Show Some Empathy
In “Bully by the Horns” Ralph is seen as a bully at first, and a potential friend last. All Anne can see is Ralph bullying her friend but oftentimes there are several reasons why a child might be bullying others. They may have problems at home, low esteem, or as it was in the case of Ralph, have difficulty connecting with other children.
Though it can be hard to look past how cruel kids can be, the root of their anger is something to be considered. When Matthew points out that maybe no one had been nice to Ralph and therefore Ralph was not nice to others, Anne suddenly realizes both the importance of being nice to others, and being empathic to others. Being new to a school, when no one is being nice to you, would be though, and his classmates should make him feel more welcome.
Be a Good Example
Children learn by example, so as a parent you must make sure you are behaving in a way that’s worth imitating. When you become angry, or frustrated, try to use calmer, more productive ways to communicate about what’s bothering you. Don’t speak to them or anyone else in a demeaning or disrespectful way, as it will only teach them bullying is ok.
Show your kids what is unacceptable (pushing, teasing, or being cruel to others) as well as what is acceptable, like being kind and empathic towards others.
Watch this kids talk from Anne: The Animated Series where kids discuss bullying.
You can watch all of Anne’s animated adventures on DVD!