7 Healthy Habits That Prevent Bullying

How to develop healthy habits and prevent bullying

group of friends

While there are no foolproof ways to prevent bullying, there are certain healthy habits that make teens less likely to be targeted by bullies. Aside from communicating regularly with parents about what is going on in their lives, teens need to develop several lifelong habits that not only prepare them for the future but also serve as a protective barrier against bullying. Here are the top seven habits teens need to implement.

Be Confident

Nothing catches a bully’s attention quicker than someone who is lacking in confidence. Be sure you are building your teen’s self-esteem by talking about the things she does well. This does not mean stroke her ego and never allow her to feel disappointment. Instead, be sure she is able to identify her strengths while working on her weaknesses. Also, remind your teen that she does not have to be perfect to be confident. Encourage her to develop an appreciation for who she is and to become comfortable in her own skin.

Have a Positive Attitude

It’s easy for teens to get discouraged when things do not go their way. Help them learn resilience and perseverance during setbacks by showing them the importance of staying positive. Additionally, teach them how to reframe the negative situations and turn them into positive, learning experiences. You also can help your teen develop a positive mindset by demonstrating unconditional love.

Also, teach her that she is capable and unique no matter what challenges she encounters.

Spend Time With Friends

Friendships are an important part of bullying prevention. Not only do friends provide a layer of protection against bullying, but they also can lend support if a teen is targeted. Moreover, healthy friendships teach teens valuable social skills such as communication, cooperation, and problem-solving.

Having friends also can have a positive impact on school performance.

Encourage your teens to develop a variety of friendships and to spend time with them often. Doing so will provide them with life skills they can draw on for years to come. What’s more, be on the lookout for unhealthy friendships such as fake friends, frenemies, toxic friends and more. Steer your teens away from these relationships.

Use Social Media Responsibly

Social media is a very integral part of a teen life. In fact, the typical teen spends hours a day reading, posting, liking, favoriting and sharing material through social media. And while most of this activity is harmless, if a teen engages in any risky behaviors online, this could set her up for cyberbullying.

For instance, be sure to discuss the dangers of sexting and sexual bullying with your teen. You also should be sure your teen knows the risks of oversharing online as well as the importance of managing her online reputation.

Express Gratitude and Thankfulness

Research has shown that teens who are grateful or thankful by nature, are generally happier people.

They also are less likely to bully others or be targets of bullies. And, if they are targeted by a bully, they tend to turn the situation into a positive.

Be sure you are teaching your teens how to express gratitude and appreciation in life. Doing so protects your teen from common teen struggles like envy and jealousy. What’s more, being grateful allows your teen to view the world in a much more positive light.

Show Kindness to Others

Being compassionate and empathetic is an important life skill. Aside from teaching kids to be respectful and treat others well, it also can lead to success later in life. In fact, research shows that people with high emotional intelligence are generally more successful than people who struggle in that area. There is even some research that indicates that emotional intelligence is more valuable than having a high IQ. What’s more, teens that are empathetic are less likely to bully others. They also are more likely to stand up for victims of bullying.

Take Responsibility for Decisions

When kids take responsibility for their choices, actions, and attitudes, they are less likely to fall prey to victim-thinking or victim-blaming. They realize what they have the power to change and what they do not have the power to change and can set goals accordingly. And if they are bullied, these skills also help them put bullying in perspective. They realize they did not cause the bullying and that they cannot control the bully, but that they can control their response to it.

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