Bullies thrive on making the lives of their victims miserable. They zone in on their targets and find ways to torment and humiliate them over and over again. They may call them names, cause physical injury or post demeaning messages on social media pages. No one knows their kids better than the people who gave them life. So why it is that parents seem surprised when they learn that their kids are bullying others? Many people don’t buy it. How can you live in the same house with a child and not have a clue that he is hurting others. This begs the question: Should the Parents of Bullies be held accountable for the child’s behaviors?
Can Parents Truly Keep Their Kids From Bullying?
Once children hit their teen years, it’s unrealistic to think parents can keep track of everything they do. Kids this age are very independent and secretive about their lives. They care about the opinions of others and they are driven by the need to fit in. However, no matter what outside variables are at play, parents are the ones who are responsible for their children. Many states have truancy laws that hold parents accountable when their kids skip school, so why not laws that hold parents liable for their kids’ harmful bullying actions towards their peers?
More often than not, parents are aware that their kids are bullying others. They may simply choose to put blinders on and act as if the problems don’t exist. If parents are made aware of the situation and they make no effort to intervene, then many believe they should be penalized for their lack of action.
Society constantly looks to teachers, principals and other school faculty to handle bullying because they witness the behavior every day. However, this doesn’t mean parents can rest on their thumbs and do nothing. When something tragic happens to a child as a result of bullying, a lot of people believe that the parents should face jail time, fines and other penalties.
When kids harass, demean and hurt their peers, it’s because of something going on in their lives. Maybe they witness their parents or older siblings being abusive or violent towards others. Maybe they don’t get the attention they deserve from home. There could be a number of family issues that drive the kids to bully. Instead of looking the other way, parents need to make an effort to find out what’s’ going on in their kids’ lives.
Parents of Bullies and their role in Cyber Bullying/ Bullying
There used to be a time when bullying was isolated to school grounds. Once kids left school, they didn’t have to deal with the issue for the rest of the day. With the rise in the use of mobile devices and social media, bullying now follows kids everywhere they go. This, along with other issues, can push some children to their breaking point and lead them to commit suicide.
For parents, keeping up with the social media boom is a challenge. Even if they are diligent about making sure their children do what they’re supposed to do, it is extremely difficult to monitor their behaviors in cyberspace. Unlike when kids are bullied on school grounds, the schools’ authority is limited because of privacy issues. If parents don’t step in and put a stop to it, the victims are pretty much left to deal with the situation on their own.
Although parents may not know everything their kids do on the Internet, they should make every effort to find out. They can ask for passwords and user names so they can monitor some of the things their kids post. If kids know their moms and dads are monitoring their Internet use, they are less likely to post things that are going to get them in trouble. If a parent finds their children are posting nasty things about others, they might consider limiting their computer use to homework-related tasks only.
Whether or not Parents of Bullies should be held accountable for their kids’ bullying actions is a debate that will likely continue. It all boils down to responsibility. In the end, it’s the responsibility of the parents to make sure their kids are raised to respect others. It is also their responsibility to know what their kids are doing every day.