Which would you prefer? Would you rather have your child bullied or would you rather have your child the bully? I do not believe there is a comfortable answer to either question. The only logical answer is “I prefer neither.” The above picture does not reveal physical bullying, but is psychological bulling any better? What are signs that your child could be a bully?
Bullying comes with many faces: physical, emotional, verbal or sexual. Each brings with it scars that can last a lifetime if not removed.
Here are some signs that help you determine if your child is the bully:
- Is there something in your child’s past that may allow him to feel insecure? Does he feel insecure about a missing parent in the household?
- Have you placed responsibilities on your child that should be only adult responsibilities, consciously or unconsciously?
- Is his interaction with other children domineering, submissive or really “over-the-top?”
- Does he feel badly because he does poorly in school? Has little or no friends?
- Is his over-all self-esteem very low?
- Does he live in an environment where bullying takes place? From another parent, sibling or you?
- How do you handle adversity? Is he mimicking your behavior?
How do you make them no’s?
Ask yourself if you have moral values “in place” in the home. If not, that is an excellent place to begin for yourself. Talk with a minister, or someone whom you hold in high-esteem. Read literature that instills sound moral principles and try to incorporate them into your own life. Teach by example. The old “do as I say, but not as I do” simply does not work. Instilling fear by bullying yourself is not the answer. It produces the same behavior you are seeking to eliminate.
- Talk calmly to your child about his behavior. “Would you want the same thing done to you that you are doing to others?”
- Let your child know that you have no tolerance for such behavior.
- Require that he apologize verbally and in writing to the child he is bullying.
- Try to determine the root causes of his behavior. You may need to have someone else counsel him.
- Monitor the kind of programs he watches on TV and the internet. A steady dose of violence in not good for you or him. Watch what you allow played in your house!
- Never make promises that you can or do not intend to enforce. Make sure your child knows that all actions have consequences, and if you assign a consequence for an action, follow through with it.
- Work diligently and harmoniously with your child’s school and community organizations. Working together can produce successive results.