Have you suddenly got the information from the teacher or one of the mates of your child that your kid has been bullying in school? It can be really hard for parents to accept that it is their child who is a bully and not the other way round. However, the late you will make to accept the fact the harder it will be to deal with the problem. So, as soon as you get the idea that your child has been bullying other kids, it is time to take action.
However, scolding your child or abusing him for bullying others is certainly not the right way to make things work rather it can make things even worse. You need to take thought of and well planned steps in order to teach your child to not to bully. Bullying is not bad only for the other kids who get bullied, but it is sure to harm the psychological health of your child as well. Being a bully can affect the growth as well as success of your child in a very negative way. His same attitude can make him unwelcome to friends which is sure to have a wrong impact on his life. Kids who bully are often not able to sustain any long relationship which can have a serious toll in the life of a child in future.
Before you take actions to teach your kid to not to bully, first it is important for you to understand why he is acting as a bully. Children who bully often suffer from a number of psychological problems that are ingrained in them through their family and society. So, first take a look at the reason and then only act.
Why kids bully?
To teach your child to not to bully, first you have to understand why he is bullying. Here are some of the reasons that might be actually working behind his behavior,
Kids may bully if they feel insecure
The habit of bullying other kids might originate in children from the feeling of insecurity. Abusing someone, who is emotionally or physically weaker, gives the child a feeling of being in power. These kids often lack a say in their homes and bully others to become popular and important. The feeling of insecurity in a child can take shape in different ways, and bullying other kids might be an outburst of his insecurities.
Kids often bully without knowing that it is unacceptable
No one is born with social etiquettes. It is the responsibility of the parents to teach the child what is acceptable and what is not. If the child has no idea that bullying, tormenting or misbehaving with other children is not acceptable in the society, he might actually pick this habit just for fun. Every child loves to feel important and to get attention, if he is not aware that the means he is adopting to get attention is not acceptable, he might actually continue doing that even without knowing the impacts of his own doing.
Bullying might be a part of an ongoing pattern
In some kids, bullying is just a part of the way they actually behave. In these cases, the child is unruly and aggressive with everyone including his family and parents. This type of behavior can develop in a child due to his inability to manage anger or frustration. If bullying is a part of the normal pattern the way the kid is, it is important to opt for professional help and counseling for the child.
Kids might bully as a copying behavior
Kids learn what they see in their family and their bullying attitude might originate from what they see in their home. If a kid is exposed to unkind and aggressive behaviors in his family, there is maximum chance that he will copy and apply them in the outer world. To put it simply, if a child is bullied at home by a family member, there are high chances that he will be a bully at the school and to his peers.
Teaching your kid not to bully
It is your responsibility as a parent to teach your kid to not to bully. Here is how you should proceed to make him realize that bullying is unacceptable,
Talk with your kid
If you have got reports about your child bullying other kids, the first step for you should be to talk with your child. Your child might not even understand that what he is doing with others is bullying and unacceptable. He might be just doing it as a way of fun. So, talking with him and letting him know that how his behavior is actually affecting the other child can be really helpful. While talking with your child be polite and have patience. Try to make him understand your point instead of forcing him to accept it.
Look out for the reason of his behavior
As already mentioned above, kids may bully other kids due to many reasons and if it is true for your child, the most important thing that can be done to stop his behavior is to eliminate the reason behind his behavior. So, try to explore the reasons why your child might be bullying other kids. It is best to ask your child and listen to him with an open mind. If he is doing this as a result of what he is seeing at home, he might not be explaining the things properly to you. So, encourage him to tell you the whole truth and assure him that you will provide him with all the support to make things better instead of being judgmental.
Let him know about your expectations
If your child has been a bully, it is your responsibility to correct him. Let him know that you have high expectations from him and bullying others is certainly going to hurt your expectations. Tell him that you will provide every type of support and assistance he might need to come out of this habit, but you will not tolerate this kind of behavior in future. Often kids feel that they are indirectly supported by their parents in their act of bullying, which can be really dangerous. So, make your stand clear to him.
Teach him compassion and respect
Being compassionate to others is a very important quality for every human being and if a child is abusive towards others, it is important that he is given the right lesson of compassion and respect. Teaching your kid to be compassionate and respectful to others is not difficult but it is important that he also understand the needs of being polite. There is a steep difference between forcing your child to be respectful to the feelings of other kids, and making him realize why he should be compassionate to everyone. So, give him the right teachings.
Set the right example
Kids learn what they see. If you try to teach him a good listen, the best way is to follow it yourself first. If your child observes abusive and taunting behavior in you, no matter what you say him to do, he will follow your behavior only. It is really important to set the right example in front of your kids. If your child has been a bully, make sure that you are not somehow making him believe that bullying is okay through your own behavior with others. Also make sure that your child is not close with any other person with abusive nature that he might copy.
Encourage good behavior
When your child behaves well or you note a positive attitude in him encourage it. Recognizing even his minimal efforts to improve his behavior can propel him to correct himself quickly. It is important for your child to know that good behavior can be the key to happiness and success in life and on the other hand, bullying and abusive behavior is sure to lead his life to a total mess. Encouraging him for doing well is sure to propel his urge to be good always.
Every child is unique and when it comes to teaching your kid not to bully, there is no one size fits all route. Some kids can be easily corrected by parents just by making them realize that what they are doing is not acceptable by the family or the society, whereas, for some kids things might be much more difficult to handle. You have to keep in mind that if a child has the idea that he can do whatever he wish and at the end you will comply with him, correcting his behavior is sure to become much difficult. So, it is best to come up with a step by step action plan to make sure that your child corrects himself. Never start overlooking the matter only because the first few steps that you had taken did not seem to be effective.
Ask for help
In case things have already gone too far and you are not able to check the bullying behavior of your child all by your own, it is best to talk with a counselor. There are a number of children counselors who can be helpful to understand what exactly your child is going through and why he is not able to come out of his abusive attitude. You can also talk to a teacher or someone close to him who might be able to correct him.