Nurture. Thrive. Repeat.
Children in foster are more likely to experience bullying either as the victim or the child having bullying behavior due to circumstances they can’t control. It is our job as adults in their lives to build a safe space where they can trust us to work to meet their needs and give them the space to thrive.
Too often the label of “foster child” isolates children who have already experienced varying levels of abuse. How do we protect our children and prevent this behavior from occurring?
Here are some steps you can take to prevent bullying with your child:
1. Encourage Open Conversation
Educate your child on what bullying is and be attentive and interested in their daily experiences. Ensure your child knows they can come to you with any of their feelings, big or small, and that you are a safe person they can turn to. If they come to you sharing that they are being bullied or have witnessed bullying occur, take them seriously and show them that you are someone they can trust.
2. Encourage Friendships
Every child needs one good friend in their school or at daycare. Encourage these friendships to combat feelings of isolation in your child. These close friendships can also ensure your child has someone on their side to report if they are being bullied.
3. Establish Routine
Routines provide children with safety and security, ensuring our children that we will routinely meet their needs. Routines also can help you as the parent monitor if something out of the ordinary is going on; pay attention to your child’s patterns and behaviors. If you notice they are more anxious than usual or behaving in a way out of the ordinary, take their feelings seriously and work to get them support. Children in foster care can have an array of feelings and past experiences that can affect how they navigate the world today. Our team of social workers are here to help you through this process, so please do not hesitate to reach out and we can work to get your children the support they need.
4. Model How to Treat Others
Take a look inward and think about how you tend treat others when you are in the middle of conflict or stress. Model how to treat others with kindness and respect and discourage aggressive behavior.
If you discover that your child is being bullied or exhibiting bullying behavior, do your best to stay calm, self regulate, and withhold judgement. For a step by step on what to do when you hear your child is being bullied, visit https://sesamestreetincommunities.org/training/understanding-bullying/.
Trackback URL: https://www.extraordinaryfamilies.org/bullying-prevention-with-foster-care-in-mind/trackback/
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