Did you know that nearly 1 in 3 students from grades six through ten are bullied every day? Imagine your child being taunted, teased, or even hurt by another child. You see the pain that bullying has inflicted on your child and the hurt you feel when you don’t know what to do. This Christian’s guide to dealing with bullies will walk you through how to respond if bullying happens to your child.
Prayer is not easy in situations like these, but prayer is our most powerful and important response. God asks us to pray for those who hate us and bless those who curse us. As it cannot be done with our strength alone, it takes the Spirit of God to help us do good and pray for God’s blessings.
As a Christian, you may find it often difficult to deal with some of life’s situations such as bullying. If you are being bullied or have a child that is suffering from a bully, don’t seek revenge to get even. Instead, pray for them.
A Christian’s Guide to Dealing with Bullies
Use these steps to deal with bullying from a Christian perspective.
Recognize Bullying Behavior
Bullying is sometimes subtle yet harsh. It is important to recognize the signs and seek the truth with love and without judgment. When others allow a bully to continue their vicious acts, they are not only hurting their victims but also the bully themselves.
Expect Bullying Tactics
In John 16:33, Jesus told us “in this world, you will have trouble.” We must learn to expect such trouble and not be ignorant when we or someone we love faced with bullying situation.
Teach Children Who Bullies Are
It is important to teach your child that not everyone that is mean is a bully. Instead, teach them that bullies are more like unhappy people. Everyone can have their share of bad days, which takes out the best of us. For many people, these bad days cause them to behave badly and do things without thinking. However, those who behave badly repeatedly are in fact bullies.
Make small, loving acts of kindness toward others part of your every day life. Thank you notes, small gestures of appreciation for others, and acts of service and kindess are ways to incorporate the joy of giving into everyday life.
Rather than allow your child to see herself as a victim, empower your child to be a giver.
Consider trying a kindness rocks project. Kindness rocks are simply painted rocks that people leave for others to enjoy. The main objective of this kindness rocks is to encourage others to spread kindness and hide it where it is least expected. Someone who might have had a rough day may stumble upon one of them.
Stand up to Bullies in a God-fearing Manner
Some Christians tell their children to turn the other cheek when bullied. However, when Jesus was hit by the high Priest’s guard, he refused to turn the other way. Instead, Jesus responded, “If I said something wrong, testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”
Jesus defended himself through words, as he demanded an answer for such treatment. We must not let bullies have their way as giving them even an inch will allow them to thrive further and abuse their power. Teach your child to stand up to bullying behavior, and offer help if they need it. It is the abuse from these bullies that cannot be allowed to overpower us.
Responding physically is the easiest way to confront a bully. However, it is a last resort and not the ideal way to dealing with the situation. Instead, seek wisdom from God and allow him to nurture a willing heart with an open mind before you confront a bully.
These are some of the steps you can take as an adult to help your child who is a target of bullying. We must hold on to our dignity and guard it. It is our responsibility to care for our children, as we are all God’s children.
Thank you to Jackie Edwards for her contributions to this article.
Has your child been the victim of a bully? How did you handle it? Share in the comments below.
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