Scar­lett Mof­fatt says health prob­lems made her an easy tar­get for bul­lies. Emma says we need to teach chil­dren not to judge

Closer (UK) - - Life Balance -

had big front teeth I as a kid, so at school I was called “Goofy” and “Wal­rus”. Luck­ily that didn't hurt me be­cause my par­ents had in­stilled in me from an early age that other peo­ple’s opin­ions were not facts and should be dis­missed when they had cruel in­tent.

How­ever, for many chil­dren, be­ing dif­fer­ent or hav­ing a dis­abil­ity can make them feel iso­lated and lead to a whole host of self-esteem is­sues. It is your job to ed­u­cate your chil­dren to treat other peo­ple with re­spect.

The way you talk about peo­ple in your home will in­flu­ence the way your chil­dren re­act to peo­ple out­side of it, so be­ing kind and re­spect­ful is key.

If you hear your chil­dren laugh­ing at other kids, ask them to imag­ine how dif­fi­cult that would be if it were the other way around. Pos­i­tively re­in­forc­ing your chil­dren’s good be­hav­iour and kind ac­tions also en­cour­ages them to act pos­i­tively to­wards oth­ers.

Fi­nally, if your child is guilty of bul­ly­ing, or has been un­fair to a peer, help them work through why their be­hav­iour is un­ac­cept­able, as of­ten kids don't re­ally un­der­stand the im­pact of their ac­tions. Ex­plain­ing the im­por­tance of em­brac­ing peo­ple no mat­ter who they are is an im­por­tant life skill that will make their fu­ture friend­ships and re­la­tion­ships more ful­fill­ing.

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