In Parenting Help, Parents' Tips

What if your child is the bully?

So,what if your child is the bully?

It would be rather heartbreaking to find out that your child is bullying someone in general, and especially online, because he or she is misusing the gadget you have given them to harass someone else. You might want to reflect on the reasons they have started this inappropriate behavior, but you also should look into how exactly you’d like to prevent this behavior from continuing. Here, we’ll present some advice on how to act if your child is the bully:

If your child is the bully, first of all, it’s important to address the problem head on and not wait for it to go away, because it will not go away on its own. Talk to your child firmly about his or her actions and explain the negative impact it has on others. While joking and teasing might seem okay, they can hurt people’s feelings and lead to getting in trouble.

The child or teenager needs to feel that their actions do have terrible repercussions. Bullying, in all its forms, is unacceptable; there can be serious, and sometimes irrevocable, consequences at home, school, and in the community if it continues.

As for the use of technology, you need to remind your child that the use of cell phones and computers is a privilege they can and will lose if they continue to misuse and abuse gadgets. Sometimes, it helps to restrict the use of these devices until behavior improves. If you feel your child should have a cell phone for safety reasons, make sure it is a phone that can only be used for emergency purposes.

Furthermore, monitoring their online behavior is a necessity. Insist on strict parental controls on all devices if there is any history of your child making impulsive decisions when they are online. There are a few programs that can help you know what your child is doing online; use them. However, beware. Some children and adolescents are tech-savvy enough to know how to get around these controls, and how to deactivate them on a temporary basis while they are using the computer or cell phone. Make sure things actually work.

Because it cannot be left solely on the shoulders of the parent to fix the situation, and to get to the heart of the matter, sometimes talking to teachers, guidance counselors, and other school officials can help identify situations that lead a kid to bully others. If your child is a bully or If your child has trouble managing anger, talk to a therapist about helping your son or daughter learn to cope with anger, hurt, frustration, and other strong emotions in a healthy way.

So what to do if your child is the bully?

While they may not entertain the idea at first, professional counselling often helps kids learn to deal with their feelings and improve their confidence and social skills, which in turn can reduce the risk of bullying. However, because young people who bully may be very comfortable with their own actions, some traditional counselling techniques may not help.  If you’re tech-savvy yourself, model good online habits to help your kids understand the benefits and the dangers of life in the digital world. Remember: what you do is reflected in your child’s behavior, one way or another.

if your child is the bully: How can school help?

As suggested by Dr. Richard Sarles, professor of psychiatry and paediatrics at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, school-based prevention can include the following strategies:

▸ Increasing adult supervision of children in public spaces during lunch and recess

▸ Elimination of unsupervised places where children might be bullied

▸ Use of classroom-based anti-bullying programs in an effort to teach that bullying is wrong and should be reported.

▸ Use of a “bully box” near the school counselors office that allows children to anonymously report bullying episodes

▸ Role playing and assertiveness training

▸ Use of video cameras on school buses, on school property, and in buildings to record instances of bullying and to act as a deterrent

▸ Establishment and enforcement of a zero-tolerance bullying policy that includes all school personnel, from teachers to cafeteria workers, coaches, and janitors

▸ Switching schools: If the school and community fail to cooperate, the child must simply change schools to get out of an abusive environment.

Consequences for bullying at school, in sports situations and in other environments may be rare or inconsistent. Without supervision, clear expectations, and consistent consequences, youth who enjoy the power and social status gained from bullying are less likely to change.”

if your child is the bully is not a scary matter, you should develop a policy of open communication so that you can actually do something positive if your child is the bully. 

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