What to Do if your Child is a Bully
A lot of the times, a parent might not be willing to face the fact that their loved one is capable of abuse, and it’s always a painful process to start questioning your own parenthood and wonder where you went wrong. But at the risk of being harsh; that’s not an excuse to refuse dealing with reality or linger in denial; in which case you’d only be delaying the aftermath as opposed to treating the issue at hand. if you are asking: is your child a bully?
When a child is a bully, they’re not just being kids or acting out; they’re consciously verbally or physically harming an undeserving human being- definitely not a trifle problem.
Bullying is also an indication of a serious behavioral malfunction, and could even be a manifestation of a deeper psychological complex, that’s why it’s crucial to address the issue directly; it is , after all , a simple question: is your child a bully?, even when it seems to be a sensitive subject, or one you’re not eager to deal with due to other factors (you’re going through a divorce, financial crisis, family problem etc…). You can’t expect this to be a phase, and even if they stop the bullying; without actually resolving its roots, then it will only fester and fluctuate with time.
It’s never too late to fix the problem; Bullies are made, not born and a child is never evil or sadistic by nature, but at this point in their lives, they are still inexperienced, and haven’t grasped the concept of repercussion and consequence yet. So they’re most likely lashing out in an attempt to receive attention, control or supremacy. This doesn’t justify their actions, but it does explain them.
So with a little compassion and a whole lot of work on your end; you can get to the bottom of things, but first of all, you have to figure out if your child actually is a bully!
Reading this article is already an indication that you suspect they are; there are obvious signals that point out if they are indeed susceptible to being a bully:
Is your child a bully ? Here is how you find out:
-Do they tend to be impulsive? Impatient? hotheaded?
– Have they recently shown a change in behavior? Are they becoming detached or indifferent?
Also keep in mind that if the child is subject to any form of “physical discipline” at home; this would be a strong incentive for them to extend the courtesy themselves.
Nevertheless, your instinct is a strong guide; the presence of these elements doesn’t ensure their bullying, and their absence doesn’t necessarily dismiss it. You need to sit down and have a candid and stress-free conversation with your child; but also have a discussion with their teachers in order to get the facts straight .
Is your child a bully? Tips for handling the conversation:
1-You’re not an interrogator trying to get a confession out of them; so it’s important for you to show your genuine concern in their wellbeing, and show compassion.
2- Make it clear that there are repercussions to their actions- not referring to punishment- but speaking to their humanitarian side, how this will affect the other person etc…
3- If they seem dismissive of the topic, this is evasiveness that either indicates guilt, denial, or that they’re hiding a larger issue.
4- Be willing to listen, and if you sense that the situation is more then you can handle; then it might be time to seek professional advice.
5- DON’T speak to them while you’re feeling angry, stressed, or compelled; make this a priority, but wait until you’re relaxed enough to be objective and composed.
If the bullying is confirmed; then there has to be some changes, most likely the causes are home-related, so there has to be a change in the home environment;
Is your child a bully? Family Risk Factors for Bullying:
- A lack of warmth and involvement on the part of parents
- Overly permissive parenting (including a lack of limits for children’s behavior)
- A lack of supervision by parents
- Harsh, physical discipline
- Bullying incidences at home
So maybe it’s time for you to sideline some things for the sake of your Child’s mental well-being (maybe your career advancement needs to be put on hold, maybe your new relationship, etc…) as important as these parts of your life are, they become insignificant compared to having a healthy child, and raising a decent adult.
Don’t Blow matters out of proportions, or take this as a swing at your parenthood; this is a serious situation that needs to be dealt with accordingly, but in a calm and collected manner.
Your realization of the gravity of this ordeal is already the first step to resolving it, so stay calm and focus on thinking clearly on how to help them rather than punish them.
Think of what your part in this might have been, no one’s asking you for self-retribution; but if you’ve been too easy for too long, then that’s something to consider and if you’ve been absent or uninvolved, or too interfering and pressuring…
Let your child know that things are going to be different, and start acting accordingly; it’s not too late to make a change!
Is your child a bully? Note to keep in mind:
“Often, kids who bully are relatively immature. The pre-frontal cortex — the part of your brain behind your forehead that’s responsible for managing impulses, thinking cause and effect and governing inhibitions, among other things — appears to be less developed in kids with ADHD and impulse challenges.”
So you might want to consider if there’s a physiological factor behind their behavior- In which case seeking the counseling of a specialist is a valid option.