When an incident of bullying at school gets publicized, and the victim ends up traumatized or, worse, in the hospital, people use different words to express how they feel about it, but they all mean the same thing. “How can I child be that evil?” “Where were the teachers when it happened?” “That bullying kid seems to be a law offender in the making.” Then, the questions usually end with: “Why are his or her parents letting that child terrorize other kids?”
The sad reality is that most moms and dads have no clue about the wicked deeds of their offspring. Many of them are busy in either building their career or making ends meet for the family; that’s why they do not have time to check on their youngster’s social activities. Even when they notice that something seems off, some may ignore it and assume that the child is merely going through a phase. “Bullying may inflict physical, psychological, social or educational harm on a victim,” explains Dorothy Espelage, Ph.D., professor of child development in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois. “Behaviors include verbal and physical aggression that ranges in severity from making threats, spreading rumors and social exclusion, to physical attacks causing injury.”
In case the school principal or another angry parent just called to let you know about your kid’s bullying habits, try not to panic or punish your child immediately. That won’t help him or her at all. If anything, it may make the youngster more determined to bring hell in his or her class. You should use the following ways instead.
- Recognize The Child’s Issues
The first thing you ought to do as a mother or father is to ask your kid why he’s doing that. Never settle with assumptions or hearsays – the answer should come from the child directly. Not only will it ensure that you understand what’s going on in his or her head, but he or she also realizes that you care about his feelings and problems. “Desiring friendship, belonging, and feeling accepted are key ambitions for boys who bully; however, inappropriate or underdeveloped social skills preempt successful socialization primarily due to distancing that results from their offensive acts,” notes Barbara R. Pedalino, Psy.D. on a study on bullying behaviors. She explains that, “Most bullies experience themselves essentially as bully-victims, who believe they are avenging the wrongs they have personally suffered.”
- Improve Their Problem-Solving Skills
You perhaps know by now that no issue on this planet does not have a solution. If grownup dilemmas can get resolved, so should a mere kid’s problems. However, you cannot be the one always to fix the glitches that he or she encounters, especially when the child already goes to school. You can only help him or her develop problem-solving skills.
- Teach Coping Mechanisms
The kids who have no idea how to deal with negative emotions, e.g., sadness, anger, frustration, or grief, end up using their strength to overpower others. To avoid that, you need to teach some coping mechanisms to your child. Say, if your son is upset, he should draw or take a walk instead of getting on people’s faces and nerves.
- Give The Kid Some Chores
The children who have zero responsibility at home have more time to come up with evil plans, frankly speaking. Once you ask your kid to roll the garbage bin out of your home or help you clean the house regularly, though, he or she may find a better purpose in life. It may even bring the entire family closer than ever too.
- Set Rules And Consequences
One more thing you can do is create rules and consequences with everyone in the household. Your kids, after all, should have an inkling of what an acceptable attitude looks like and what can happen if they stray away from that. Nevertheless, the punishments you will dish out are not supposed to hurt the youngster physically – they should merely teach him or her a lesson.
“Punishment actually doesn’t help – if your child is bullying another child it is an opportunity to teach them about empathy and causing harm to others,” notes forensic psychologist Jennifer Ryan. “It is a chance to use a restorative approach so they take ownership of their behaviour and see how their behaviour impacts on another person and why they should stop.”
A child who went through – or is still going through – a bullying streak can change his or her habits. That is if the parents and all the other people around the kid help him or her see what’s wrong with such behavior and how to act better in different situations.
Find a way to end your child’s bullying habits today. Good luck!