Bullies are lonely children; they may be troubled themselves but all that is visible to adults is the trouble they cause to others. Many bullies started out as children who were made fun of, teased, or wronged in any other way. They might feel that there is no better way to deal with the treatment meted out to them and end up venting their frustration in ways that may not sit well with those who define the rules of the society, with absolutely no regard for a child’s individual need. You will be shocked and in denial when you are confronted with the truth that your child is a bully; it is quite understandable to be unable to take such a blow on your parenting skills but you must know that it will only worsen the case. There are firm yet sensitive ways to deal with such behaviour. Here’s how to deal with your bullying child.
What To Do If Your Child Is A Bully
Speak Up, Child
Most parents make the mistake of thinking that this attitude of their child is nothing but a passing phase; sadly, it is not and may snowball into something much graver if you do not take timely action. Just remember that no issue will ever be solved if you simply ignore the problem and its cause, and instead hope it goes away. There may be times, when you may feel that your child has done something wrong; even in those cases you need to start a dialogue with your child. Be sure to introduce the subject in a non-threatening, conversational way and encourage your child to explain the situation from his or her point of view.
I Demand Answers!
One of the best ways to get through to your child about bullying is to ask lots of questions. You should ask him or her why he or she feels the need to bully. Could there be something he or she doesn’t like about the other child? Is it a one-off incident or has it happened repeatedly? Is he/she always alone or joined by others who are also involved in those fights too? After all these questions have been answered, it is time for introspection; you will now have to ask how your child would feel if he or she was the one being bullied. The old adage of walking a mile in someone else’s shoes never gets old.
You, Me And Teacher
At least once in a month, set up a meeting with your child and his or her teacher after school so that you can get all the answers. Although you would never want to think that your child might lie to you, you will realise that there might be more to the story that you have been told by your child, which is just the tip of the iceberg, once you’ve sat down with another adult. You will have to find out as to what exactly has been going on, and then bring the topic of the conversation with your child afterward. In case, you find out that your child has lied to you or stretched the truth, it is a signal to you to begin the process all over again
Relate And Recollect
If you were ever in a situation, where you were a victim of a bully in school or if you were ever a bully yourself, talk about that with your child. Imparting your own experiences can put things into greater perspective, and you might be able to change your child’s view on his or her peers. Explain that you know what it feels like to be bullied, and that you wouldn’t want anyone else to feel that way.
Don’t Little Me
Even though nobody would want their child to be a bully, and would like their child to be sensitive to others’ feelings, it is no reason to turn the tables. Most parents feel that a child can be teased, bullied, or made fun of to show them what a bullied child feels like but this method is more counter-productive than an effective lesson in sensitivity. Instead, explain how the bullied child must feel; be descriptive and passionate enough to make an impression.
Punishment For Bully
There may be times, though rare, when the bullying habit will continue even after all this reasoning and discussion; in all such cases, don’t be afraid to punish your child. Just because your child does not misbehave in your presence, doesn’t mean that your child shouldn’t be held accountable. Firmly explain to your child that until he or she learns to respect the feelings of others, television and video games will be taken away from his/her daily routine.