Parenting Tips For Moms

Parenting

Is your child a bully?

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  • February 2, 2021
  • MKB Team

Ratna Sharma (name changed on request) went to fetch her son from kindergarten. She was informed that her son was playing in the small outdoor playground, and when she reached there, she received the shock of her life. Her son was playing on the see-saw alone and shouting angrily at anyone who tried to approach the see-saw. The other children stood in one corner fearfully. Ratna realized with a start that her three year old son was a bully.

Nothing is more unsettling for parents when they realize that their child is a bully. Most parents would go into a denial mode immediately as no one wants to admit that their child could be a bully. But if one chooses to run away from the problem or turn a blind eye to it, it gets worse. In fact, even the most well-mannered child can engage in bullying tactics. Also, the preconceived notions that most of us have about bullying are totally wrong. We assume wrongly that the parents of a bully must be bullies themselves or negligent parents. Bullying need not be just the product of bad parenting. Don’t think that you’ve been a bad parent if your child turns out to be a bully. But a good parent cannot ignore the fact and has to take corrective measures.

Remember that bullies can be socially popular and outgoing. If a child is popular or has a particular ability at something like athletics or sports, s/he has a superiority complex over others. Sometimes, bullying surfaces from a desire to gain and maintain control over others.
Research also shows that bullies are more likely to be depressed, struggle in school, end up in prison, engage in substance abuse and engage in violence when they grow up. Remember that a bully getting away with bullying only makes him/her grow more confident and develop a life-long habit of bullying and abusing others.


Here are a few signs that your child might be a bully:


 Bullies often refuse to take responsibility for their actions and
like to shift the blame on others. Rarely will they admit that
they are at fault.

 Bullies lack empathy and compassion, refusing to look at things
from the bullied person’s perspective.
Talk to your child about how important it is to respect other people’s
feelings and that the same treatment might be meted out against
them by a stronger bully. The child needs to understand that the act
is wrong and building emotional intelligence can achieve that.
Reading good literature helps children look at another perspective as
they are exposed to the emotions of the protagonist.


Why do children bully?


 Sometimes, victims of bullying become bullies to regain some of their lost self-confidence. They might think that bullying is the only way to get into the social environment of their school.


 Strangely, most bullies have high self-esteem and are contemptuous, proud and arrogant. It’s a myth that bullies suffer from low self-esteem and try to bully their way out using aggression.


 Bullies might be inspired from aggressive friends, and parents should monitor who their child is friends with.


 Certain children suffer from behavioural problems and these cause bullying sometimes. Kids who are short-tempered, impulsive, lacking empathy and prone to fighting are at risk of being bullies.


 If a child resides in a home that’s violent, kids will naturally react with violence in pressure situations.


 With cyber bullying increasing rapidly, kids who spend a lot of
time online are at a greater risk of being bullies as well as being
exposed to bullying. It is wise to limit internet time.


 Children might be intolerant towards others who are different
from them, and this causes them to be bullies. They are not often willing or able to accept kids with diverse ethnic backgrounds or kids with disabilities.


How can you help your child from being a bully?


 Be more involved and aware about what your child does at
school. Be in talks with the teachers and spend time with your
child.


 Address the bullying issue immediately. Make it clear that
bullying is not acceptable. Determine the root cause behind the
action before you serve punishment though. The reason is
important for proper corrective action. For example, if your
child bullied someone to be popular, you need to talk about the
right way to be popular instead of the wrong one.


 Deny access to privileges according to the situation. Suppose
your child is into cyber bullying, confiscating the computer for a
few days is a good idea. Harsher methods include grounding
the child and taking away the freedom to attend parties or
gatherings. But it’s important not to go overboard with your
punishment. Make it clear that bullying is not good and won’t
be tolerated.


 Teach your child skills like patience and anger management
that will help control bullying.

 Do not shame your kids in public to discipline them as it is the
worst possible approach. It only teaches children that it’s ok to
humiliate and embarrass others. Shaming is just another form
of bullying after all!

Was this article helpful for you? Share your ideas which can make children stop bullying. Write to us!

Q&A
You ask and we answer!


What are the causes and effects of bullying?

C.S. Sitalakshmi, Chennai.
Bullying is a serious problem in schools today. Most children become
bullies due to stressful situations they are forced to deal with. Some
kids may have even been excessively picked on by their older siblings
which could also cause this behaviour.


Is bullying a social phenomenon?


Radhika Sinha, Bhubaneshwar.
Bullying is a complex social phenomenon that crosses age, ethnicity,
and national boundaries.


Do school uniforms stop bullying?


Rebecca Carlton, Boston.
Recent studies have shown that school uniforms help the students & 
school experiences in many ways. They prevent bullying and/or
people getting hurt, show children discipline, and help students stay
focused. Because everyone would be dressed the same, students

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