Being bullied is not an easy thing to cope with. Bullying can leave kids feeling helpless, vulnerable, and confused. Consequently, when kids are bullied, they are often so shocked by bullying that they are not sure what to do. But this indecision and lack of response can open the door to more bullying. Make sure your kids are prepared should the situation ever occur.

How Your Child Can Deal With a Bully
To keep bullies from harassing your kids, make sure they know what to do if confronted by a bully. Aside from developing their assertiveness skills, building their self-esteem and improving their social skills, they also need practical tools on how to handle bullying situations. Here are seven ideas that any child can implement.

Ignore the bully. Not reacting when someone says or does something hurtful is often the most effective response to bullying. Most bullies are looking for a reaction. They want the target to get angry or cry. And, if your child has an emotional response to bullying, it often continues and may even escalate. Conversely, if your child keeps on walking with his head held high every time someone engages in name-calling or any other type of bullying, the bully will eventually move on when he realizes he will not get a response from your child.

Tell the bully to stop. Again, bullies often do not expect someone to stand up to them. In fact, they often target kids they believe they can intimidate. As a result, telling a bully to stop in a strong and confident voice can be very effective. In fact, bullies often count on finding a victim who will not say anything at all. But if your child makes sure the bully knows he cannot walk all over him, the bully is more likely to stop what he is doing.

Make a joke or agree with the bully. Some kids are naturally funny and find it easy to laugh right along with the bully. When kids are able to do this, it demonstrates that they are confident about who they are; and it does not bother them if other people point out their flaws. In fact, they are often secure enough to laugh right along with the bully. When your child laughs with the bully, it diffuses any power the bully thought he had over your child, and his bullying methods become ineffective.

Avoid bullying hot spots. Sometimes all it takes to prevent bullying is to avoid places where bullies hang out. These bullying hot spots include areas like the far corners of the playground, vacant hallways, bathrooms, locker rooms, and the back of the bus. Be sure your child knows where these spots are located and that he avoids them or travels with a buddy when he can. Sometimes the best way to deter bullying is to avoid crossing paths with the bully.

Stick with friends. Bullies usually look for kids who are alone or socially isolated. Be sure your child knows that hanging out with friends is a great way to prevent bullying. If your child struggles with social skills or has very few friends, take steps to help him develop friendships. Having just one healthy friendship can go a long way in protecting your child from bullies.

Know how to get out of a bullying situation. Talk to your child about ways in which he can defend himself against bullies, especially if the bullying is physical. For instance, be sure your child knows to keep his eye on the exit and to use it when the opportunity presents itself. Other options include making a lot of noise, attracting attention, and knowing how to deflect any type of physical aggression. Your child does not have to “fight” the bully to defend himself. He just needs to know how to diffuse the situation and get to safety.

Report the bullying to an adult. Be sure your child knows that the best way to prevent bullying is to report it. Without adult intervention, bullying often will continue or escalate. Talk about the reasons why kids don’t tell others they are being bullied and be sure your children know that you understand their fears. Stress that while it takes a lot of strength and courage to report bullying, it is the smartest way to handle this type of situation. Also be careful not to engage in victim-blaming or to criticize your child for getting bullied. Bullying is a choice made by the bully and never the responsibility of the victim.

via NEW KIDS-CENTER: If you want to have fun with your kids and want to spend quality time with your family, then the following family activities are ideal for you. Not only are these family activities a great source of enjoyment for all involved,butit gives you a chance to get to know your kids better and to interact with them more openly. Such activities can help in forming a strong bond between family members. It does not matter where in the world you liveengaging in family activities can give you a great deal of satisfaction.

Eight Recommended Family Activities

1. Record a Family Video

Ask theelder members of the family to share their life experiences with the kids and record them on a video camera while they are sharing their stories. These videos are going to become a source of knowledge for the children and willeducate them about life and can be regarded as their heritage as well. They can motivate the kids and give them a sense of pride. You can also ask the family members to conduct interviews of each other and record those on tape. These sound bites can serve as a precious time capsule for your family.

2. Work Together in the Garden

Get the whole family to work in the garden. Plant some seeds into a patch of soil and ask all the family members to join in and help you in taking care of the small plants. Assign the tasks for the kids and parents, so all of them will get to participate in nurturing theseedlings as they grow up. This activity will help children in learning the important lesson about loving nature and would, as well as giving them immense pleasure and joy when they watch the seeds turn into beautiful flowers and plants.

3. Cook Meals Together

Have the children join you in the kitchen and cook a meal with you. It will be a fun exercise for the kids and they are sure to enjoy it a lot. Eating meals that you have cooked together always helps in fostering a strong bond among family members and also gives you a chance to communicate freely with your kids. This is why psychologists recommend families eating their meals together.

4. Watch Movies Together

Watching movies together with theentire family is also an activity that can strengthen ties among family members. You can watch movies picked either by you or your children. The idea is to enjoy a movie with the kids and to discuss the important lessons that the movie teaches. Remember to have some popcorn ready when watching the movie and make sure that the movies are family-oriented and can give some sort of a message to the kids. Movies, likeToy Story 2, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, How to Train Your Dragon, Hugo, A Bug’s Life and Spy Kids, are some of the movies that you can watch with your kids.

5. Reading and Painting

Reading a favorite book together is also a great way of uniting family. Pick out a story that is loved by all the family members and ask one of members to read it aloud. You can take turns to read the story as well. You can also ask the children to paint and makeself portraits. Give the children paints and colors and let them loose. You can always join them while they are making it and help them in creating the perfect portrait. After they have finished, hang the portraits on walls, telling everyone how artistic your kids are.

6. Go Camping

Going on a camping trip with kids can prove to be a great exercise which brings all of you together and strengthen the bond between you and your kids. Remember to brush up on your story telling skills before going on a camping trip so that you can keep your children entertained. With so many apps available to you on your phone, you can also educate your child about the natural wildlife while on your camping trip.

7. Take Exercise and Do Sport Together

Exercising and doing a sport together is a great way of spending quality time with your kids. Not only will it help you in keeping your family fit and healthy, but it will also provide a fun activity that you can all participate in. It can offer you the chance to teach some important life lessons to your kids as well. You can play any kind of team sport that the entire family is interested in, such as going for a bike ride if you and your kids are into biking.

8. Play Some Games

  • Board Games

Board games like Checkers, Scrabble and Monopoly can be ideal family games that you can play with your kids. They can help you in keeping your children entertained and improve their strategy skill, word building and money skills, etc.

  • Q&A

Invent interesting questions about your family’s likes and dislikes and write them down on card paper. Write the answers of these questions on the backside of these cards and begin the game. The person who answers the all questions correctly wins.

  • Kick the Can

This is a fun game in which more than four people can participate at once. One child has to kick a can and count till a hundred while the other hide. Then the kicker has to search for them after setting the can straight. The gameends when all the hiding people are captured by the kicker.

  • Scavenger Hunt

Going on a scavenger hunt is also a great game that you can play with your kids. The items of the scavenger hunt can be anything and the reward can be a dollar or any memorable items.

via the spruce: Raise a responsible child who’s happy to help out, not reluctant to pitch in. With some patience and a few parenting tricks up your sleeve, you’ll be well on your way to raising a responsible child who becomes a responsible adult.

Assign Age-Appropriate Tasks
Everyone in your house can be given specific tasks to teach them responsibility. Even your toddlers can help out and starting them young makes it easier to hand them even more responsibility as they grow older.

Assign age-appropriate tasks around the house. Preschoolers can dust with socks over their hands. Older kids can help empty the dishwasher, vacuum or set the table for dinner.

Lay Out Each Family Member’s Responsibilities
You can give your newborn a pass on taking responsibility right now. But your two year old can still get involved and be one of your tiny helpers.

Lay out each family member’s responsibilities ahead of time to get everyone on the same page. Even Mom and Dad can be listed on chore charts and weekly calendars so the whole family knows everything that each other does to make your household run smoothly.

Praise Them for Taking Responsibility
A job well done deserves praise. We often forget to add in the praise for each task kids complete because we don’t get that same praise every time we wipe down a kitchen counter or empty out the dryer’s lint trap. But as our children are learning what responsibility is, we need to be sure we’re there to praise them for a job well done when they pick their clothes up off the floor and dust their furniture.We often forget to add in the praise for each task kids complete because we don’t get that same praise every time we wipe down a kitchen counter or empty out the dryer’s lint trap.

But as our children are learning what responsibility is, we need to be sure we’re there to praise them for a job well done when they pick their clothes up off the floor and dust their furniture.

Avoid Constant Rewards
Do you get free ice cream every time you mop? Keep this in mind as you try to raise a responsible child.

Instead of promising your child a candy bar if she takes out the trash, let her feel the reward of taking responsibility without having to be bribed. You can surprise your kids with rewards or reward them one day a week but don’t carry around a pocket full of candy so you can dole a piece out every time one of your kids does something they’ve been told to do.

Use Reward Tools Wisely
There are so many tools you can use to outline responsibilities, mark those achievements and work toward a goal or reward without having to take the route above of bribing and giving your child something every single time she does something that you’ve defined as her role in your household.

Look for household responsibility charts. Many have space for all of the kids in your house in one spot so you don’t have to buy separate charts for each child. One favorite is the Magnetic Reward Responsibility / Behavior Chart that accommodates up to three children. This great chart comes with pre-printed responsibilities you use, such as “brush my teeth” and “finish my homework.” But it also comes with blanks you can write on with the included dry erase pen so you can customize the responsibilities. Each child gets a color star to place in the box when they’ve completed that responsibility and at the bottom they get to define the goal they’re working toward once they complete all responsibilities, like “go out for an ice cream” or “get a new book” when they reach a certain level of stars.

Let Your Children Feel the Consequences of Not Taking Responsibility
What would happen if you stopped cleaning the house, taking the kids everywhere they needed to be or didn’t brush your teeth anymore? Of course you’re going to fulfill your responsibilities and you can make sure your kids do too.

We tend to ride our kids to get this and that done — those chores and other responsibilities that we’ve laid out so many times, yet they seem to keep forgetting. Of course, you don’t want your child to fail science by not reminding her to study for her test but there are other responsibilities you can simply let her ignore and feel the consequences of not taking the responsibility to do them. Before you get started on laying out your child’s responsibilities, let her know what those consequences will be.

You can do this as one continuing consequence, like not completing those five responsibilities each week results in a loss of TV or you can set those consequences week by week based on the activities you have going on at the time.

Take a Step Back
We know what would happen if we shirked our responsibilities and we don’t want our kids to neglect their responsibilities either. It can be incredibly frustrating when your child seems to not hear you or to flat out ignore you, though.

But it’s important to take a step back. Don’t lose your cool and bark about how important their responsibilities are. You want them to enjoy being responsible, not resentful of it.

Be Patient
It will take time for your children to master their responsibilities. They’re still kids and it will take time for them to remember their responsibilities and fully understand their importance.

Your guidance is crucial when you want to raise a responsible child who becomes a responsible adult. But it needs to be done in a nurturing way that encourages them to participate and actually gets them excited about contributing. Otherwise, your child starts to see responsibilities as something they’re getting in trouble for instead of something that’s actually rewarding. Pick your battles and remember raising a responsible child is a long-term goal that won’t be completed overnight.

Via Aha! Parenting: Parenting Your Strong-Willed Child

Have a strong-willed child? You’re lucky! Strong willed children can be a challenge when they’re young, but if sensitively parented, they become terrific teens and young adults. Self-motivated and inner-directed, they go after what they want and are almost impervious to peer pressure. As long as parents resist the impulse to “break their will,” strong-willed kids often become leaders.

What exactly is a strong-willed child? Some parents call them “difficult” or “stubborn,” but we could also see strong-willed kids as people of integrity who aren’t easily swayed from their own viewpoints. Strong-willed kids are spirited and courageous. They want to learn things for themselves rather than accepting what others say, so they test the limits over and over. They want desperately to be “in charge” of themselves, and will sometimes put their desire to “be right” above everything else. When their heart is set on something, their brains seem to have a hard time switching gears. Strong-willed kids have big, passionate feelings and live at full throttle.

Often, strong-willed kids are prone to power-struggles with their parents. However, it takes two to have a power struggle. You don’t have to attend every argument to which you’re invited! If you can take a deep breath when your buttons get pushed, and remind yourself that you can let your child save face and still get what you want, you can learn to sidestep those power struggles. (Don’t let your four year old make you act like a four year old yourself.)

No one likes being told what to do, but strong-willed kids find it unbearable. Parents can avoid power struggles by helping the child feel understood even as the parent sets limits. Try empathizing, giving choices, and understanding that respect goes both ways. Looking for win/win solutions rather than just laying down the law keeps strong-willed children from becoming explosive and teaches them essential skills of negotiation and compromise.

Strong-willed kids aren’t just being difficult. They feel their integrity is compromised if they’re forced to submit to another person’s will. If they’re allowed to choose, they love to cooperate. If this bothers you because you think obedience is an important quality, I’d ask you to reconsider. Of course you want to raise a responsible, considerate, cooperative child who does the right thing, even when it’s hard. But that doesn’t imply obedience. That implies doing the right thing because you want to.

Morality is doing what’s right, no matter what you’re told. Obedience is doing what you’re told, no matter what’s right.
– H.L. Mencken

So of course you want your child to do what you say. But not because he’s obedient, meaning that he always does what someone bigger tells him to do. No, you want him to do what you say because he trusts YOU, because he’s learned that even though you can’t always say yes to what he wants, you have his best interests at heart. You want to raise a child who has self-discipline, takes responsibility, and is considerate — and most important, has the discernment to figure out who to trust and when to be influenced by someone else.

Breaking a child’s will leaves him open to the influence of others who often will not serve his highest interests. What’s more, it’s a betrayal of the spiritual contract we make as parents.

That said, strong-willed kids can be a handful — high energy, challenging, persistent. How do we protect those fabulous qualities and encourage their cooperation?

Eleven Tips for Peaceful Parenting Your Strong-Willed, Spirited Child

1. Remember that strong-willed kids are experiential learners.

That means they have to see for themselves if the stove is hot. So unless you’re worried about serious injury, it’s more effective to let them learn through experience, instead of trying to control them. And you can expect your strong-willed child to test your limits repeatedly–that’s how he learns. Once you know that, it’s easier to stay calm, which avoids wear and tear on your relationship–and your nerves.

2. Your strong-willed child wants mastery more than anything.

Let her take charge of as many of her own activities as possible. Don’t nag at her to brush her teeth; ask “What else do you need to do before we leave?” If she looks blank, tick off the short list: “Every morning we eat, brush teeth, use the toilet, and pack the backpack. I saw you pack your backpack, that’s terrific! Now, what do you still need to do before we leave?” Kids who feel more independent and in charge of themselves will have less need to be oppositional. Not to mention, they take responsibility early.

3. Give your strong-willed child choices.

If you give orders, he will almost certainly bristle. If you offer a choice, he feels like the master of his own destiny. Of course, only offer choices you can live with and don’t let yourself get resentful by handing away your power. If going to the store is non-negotiable and he wants to keep playing, an appropriate choice is:

“Do you want to leave now or in ten minutes? Okay, ten minutes with no fuss? Let’s shake on it….And since it could be hard to stop playing in ten minutes, what can we do to make it easier for you in ten minutes?”

4. Give her authority over her own body.

“I hear that you don’t want to wear your jacket today. I think it’s cold and I am definitely wearing a jacket. Of course, you are in charge of your own body, as long as you stay safe and healthy, so you get to decide whether to wear a jacket. But I’m afraid that you will be cold once we are outside, and I won’t want to come back to the house. How about I put your jacket in the backpack, and then we’ll have it if you change your mind?”

She’s not going to get pneumonia, unless you push her into it by acting like you’ve won if she asks for the jacket. And once she won’t lose face by wearing her jacket, she’ll be begging for it once she gets cold. It’s just hard for her to imagine feeling cold when she’s so warm right now in the house, and a jacket feels restrictive and hot. She’s sure she’s right — her own body is telling her so — so naturally she resists you. You don’t want to undermine that self-confidence, just teach her that there’s no shame in letting new information change her mind.

5. Avoid power struggles by using routines and rules.

That way, you aren’t the bad guy bossing them around, it’s just that

“The rule is we use the potty after every meal and snack,” or “The schedule is that lights-out is at 8pm. If you hurry, we’ll have time for two books,” or “In our house, we finish homework before screen time.”

6. Don’t push him into opposing you.

Force always creates “push-back” — with humans of all ages. If you take a hard and fast position, you can easily push your child into defying you, just to prove a point. You’ll know when it’s a power struggle and you’re invested in winning. Just stop, take a breath, and remind yourself that winning a battle with your child always sets you up to lose what’s most important: the relationship. When in doubt say:

“Ok, you can decide this for yourself.”

If he can’t, then say what part of it he can decide, or find another way for him to meet his need for autonomy without compromising his health or safety.

7. Side-step power struggles by letting your child save face.

You don’t have to prove you’re right. You can, and should, set reasonable expectations and enforce them. But under no circumstances should you try to break your child’s will or force him to acquiesce to your views. He has to do what you want, but he’s allowed to have his own opinions and feelings about it.

8. Listen to her.

You, as the adult, might reasonably presume you know best. But your strong-willed child has a strong will partly as a result of her integrity. She has a viewpoint that is making her hold fast to her position, and she is trying to protect something that seems important to her. Only by listening calmly to her and reflecting her words will you come to understand what’s making her oppose you. When your child resists taking a bath, for instance, start with non-judgmental acknowledgment and curiosity:

“I hear that you don’t want to take a bath. Can you tell me more about why?”

You might elicit the information (as I did with my three year old Alice) that she’s afraid she’ll go down the drain, like Alice in the song. It may not seem like a good reason to you, but she has a reason. And you won’t find it out if you get into a clash and order her into the tub.

9. See it from his point of view.

For instance, he may be angry because you promised to wash his superman cape and then forgot. To you, he is being stubborn. To him, he is justifiably upset, and you are being hypocritical, because he is not allowed to break his promises to you, but you broke yours to him. How do you clear this up and move on? You apologize sincerely for breaking your promise, you reassure him that you try very hard to keep your promises, and you go, together, to wash the cape. You might even teach him how to wash his own clothes so you’re not in this position in the future and he’s empowered. Just consider how would you want to be treated, and treat him accordingly.

10. Discipline through the relationship, never through punishment.

Kids don’t learn when they’re in the middle of a fight. Like all of us, that’s when adrenaline is pumping and learning shuts off. So instead of trying to teach at those emotional moments, take a deep breath and connect. Kids cooperate because there’s something they want more than getting their way in the moment — they want that warm relationship with us. The more you fight with and punish your child, the more you undermine her desire to protect that warm connection with you. If she’s upset, help her express her hurt, fear or disappointment, so they evaporate. Then she’ll be ready to listen to you when you remind her that in your house, everyone speaks kindly to each other. (Of course, you have to model that. Your child won’t always do what you say, but she will always, eventually, do what you do.)

11. Offer him respect and empathy.

Most strong-willed children are fighting for respect. If you offer it to them, they don’t need to fight to protect their position. And, like the rest of us, it helps a lot if they feel understood. If you see his point of view and think he’s wrong — for instance, he wants to wear the Superman cape to church and you think that’s inappropriate — you can still offer him empathy and meet him part way while you set the limit.

“You love this cape and wish you could wear it, don’t you? But when we go to services we dress up to show respect, so we can’t wear the cape. I know you’ll miss wearing it. How about we take it with us so you can wear it on our way home?”

Does this sound like Permissive Parenting? It isn’t. You set limits. But you set them with understanding of your child’s perspective, which makes her more cooperative. There’s just never any reason to be mean about it!