No parent wants to learn about their child getting in trouble, what more for bullying? As a parent, it is hard to hear about these things from school or others. But, what can you do as a parent? Is it easy to come up with strategies to stop bullying without hurting your child’s feelings?
With your child growing up, it is your responsibility to make sure your child is in a safe and caring community.
Here’s what you need to know to be part of the prevention against bullying:
- Signs Your Child May Be A Bully
- What If My Child Is A School Bully?
- 7 Ways On How To Stop Your Child From Becoming A Bully
Signs Your Child May Be A Bully
The signs of being a bully are not obvious unless you pay attention to details. These are the most common indication that your child could be an accessory of bullying in school;
- Signs of physical aggression are obvious.
- Mood swings are getting more frequent.
- Children talk back to elders, especially parents and guardians.
- They are surrounded by peers of the same behaviour.
- They were also bullied before.
- They frequently get into trouble at home and at school.
- They turn hostile towards behaviour that is against them.
- It’s getting difficult to get along with people, even at home.
- They have trouble sleeping.
- The children are easily irritated or angered.
- They lack empathy.
- Bullying has made them want to be in control at all times.
- They show intolerance for people or things they dislike.
What If My Child Is A Bully?
As parents of the child, it is embarrassing, heartbreaking and painful because we always expect so much of them. Regardless of these overwhelming emotions, you have to learn and accept that bullying is a serious matter that needs to be addressed and prevented. It is your responsibility as a parent to discipline your child.
The first thing you have to do is identify the signs of being a bully in your child to properly address the issue.
7 Ways On How To Stop Your Child From Becoming A Bully
1. Communicate And Understand
When was the last time you sat down and had a talk with your child? Everyone knows, and you know about bullying. But, does your child know this?
Learning the truth about their bullying is not enough – your child has to know what they did and why it’s wrong before they can understand why they have to confront the issue.
Ask the questions:
- “Do you know what bullying is?”
- “Do you know and understand what you did is bullying?”
- “Is this what you want to happen to you, too?”
- “Do you know what this could mean for the child you bullied?”
- “Do you understand why it is wrong?”
- “What do you feel learning what might happen to the other child?”
- “How do you feel about what you did?”
- “What if the same thing happened to you?”
Scolding and reprimanding your child is not how to stop bullying. You have to go to the roots and understand why your child feels how they feel, thinks how they think to eliminate bullying.
Telling your child what to do would teach them dependence – you need to teach your child how to think for themselves. Make them feel to trigger their thinking process.
This is when you ask…
- “What did you do?”
- “Why did you do it?”
- “Don’t you think you have to apologize and ask for forgiveness?”
- “Do you know how much stronger and braver it is to apologize?”
- “You know I love you and I am proud of you, right?”
When you are feeling something, it’s easier to talk. This is why it is important to relate to your child – feel what they are feeling, understand what they’re going through.
Once they show signs of remorse, use it as a “go” signal to enforce positive behaviour. It’s a great and easy way of letting them know they should apologize.
2. Confront The Issue As Soon As Possible
The fresher the issue is, the better it is to confront the situation. When your child agrees it is right they apologize, take action.
To avoid your child from backing out, be gentle and ask if they are ready to face the situation. The goal of helping your child overcome and take responsibility for their actions is not to just settle the issue.
The goal is to help them realize that owning up to their mistakes is not hard and embarrassing. Instead, it is an act of courage and something to be proud of.
Once they have apologized to the other kid, pat them on the head for doing the right thing. Acknowledge the good things your child does to keep them grounded on doing the right thing when they must.
Help them understand the situation depending on the response they receive after apologizing. Was it good or was it bad? Did they accept the apology? Ask your child how they feel towards it.
Discourage their thoughts from taking non-acceptance of the apology as embarrassing, but also set their expectations that not every apology will be reciprocated with good results. The important lesson here is to do the right thing, even when people dismiss it.
3. Reflect And Evaluate
Ask your child if they have seen anyone in the family bully another. Where did these behaviours come from? Was your child’s behaviour out of motive or did they see someone else do it?
You have to consider the fact that your child may have learned the behaviour from someone they are close to – probably someone in the family. The way people talk to each other and treat each other can influence your child’s behaviour without your awareness.
Simple interactions can seem innocent for adults, but some children may absorb it as behaviour that may be good or bad for them. As parents, it is your responsibility to enforce a positive growing environment for your child.
Encourage positive behaviour, especially in the presence of your child. No family is perfect. The best thing to do is acknowledge talks or jokes that may deem a threat to your child’s behaviour be discussed to the family and adjusted accordingly.
4. Get Involved In Their Lives
By getting involved – be more than parents. Be their best friends, their confidante. Create friendship with your kids, so they know they can talk to you and confide in you when they are troubled.
Constant communication while still respecting their boundaries will give them a sense of trusting you.
The moment your child feels lonely or left out, they surround themselves with peers who accept them. The more they follow these peers, the more they are influenced.
By setting yourselves as examples, you can educate your child how to socialize and make friends. This will help them make better choices with who they surround themselves with.
5. Guide Them To Make Better Choices For Themselves
Encourage them to think critically of their words and actions, especially when interacting with another.
The more they are exposed to lessons like this, the more they will ponder on thoughts that require them to be considerate and compassionate individuals.
The best way you can help them for the meantime is distracting them from the current situation through exploring options for new hobbies and activities at home and at school. Give them a shot at a new chance with a new slate.
6. Discipline Them Accordingly
Disciplining your child and giving punishments would be necessary as long as the child learns their lesson. Disciplining the child for the sole purpose of punishing them does not create good results.
Discipline them with meaningful consequences such as;
- apologizing to those they have bullied,
- letting them reflect on their action,
- temporarily disallow them from hanging out with peers of similar behaviour,
- suspend privileges like using the computer, confiscating their phone or grounding their use of the telly.
Refrain from shaming or embarrassing your child especially when they are showing effort in owning up to their mistakes. Avoid punishing them in public as well as this can have psychological effects on your child’s ability to forgive and forget what they went through.’
7. Get Involved In School
While your child is not home, the school is their guardian. Leave an open communication with your child’s school.
Get involved with their teachers to receive feedback and improvements with your child’s behaviour. Not only will your child be monitored on their behaviour, but your child’s teachers can take action against any retaliation against your child or tolerate any more acts of bullying.
In A Nutshell…
Bullying is an issue, not only in schools but in communities as well. As the parents, you want to raise your children in safe and healthy environments. It is your responsibility to stop and prevent the chances of bullying starting in your own home.
The best prevention to bullying is not keeping an eye on your child, but being there for them to show you care and love them. When they feel secure and content with you, they start to feel more comfortable and positive about themselves which reduces the risks of bullying.
What’s your bullying story? Let us know how it was dealt with!