Parenting goal number one – to raise your kids to be a kind, understanding and good people, right? Well parenting goals are often just that … goals. The reality is that it’s easier said than done. No parent wants to believe their kid could ever be a bully, but it happens. It happens every day, in every school, in every family, no matter how good or bad their situation may be. In fact, approximately 30% of young people admit to bullying others but only 20 to 30% of kids who are bullied notify someone about it
Are you to blame? Do you know what to look for? The warning signs are there. Knowing them can help you determine if you kid may be a bully …
- They’re short tempered and quickly frustrated.
- They tend to break rules willingly.
- They’re aggressive towards siblings and even parents.
- They get in trouble at school … a lot.
- They dominate others and need to control everything.
- They justify bad behavior by shifting blame.
- They see violence at home.
- They have been the target of bullying.
- They have no empathy for kids that are different.
- They tease and taunt other kids all the time.
The good news is that kids can unlearn the behaviors of bullying with focused attention on behalf of the parents and even the school. Focus on understanding the behavior and then focus on the consequences. Make expectations clear and hold your child accountable for their actions. Kids need conflict-resolution skills to handle difficult situations. They also need emotional skills to develop relationships more effectively and handle their own frustrations.
If the bullying problem is at school, be proactive with the staff and devise a plan to retrain bullying behavior. Keep tabs on daily progress and take every chance to make each day without incident a learning opportunity.
Be An Example
Kids witness bullying behavior every day through other kids, TV shows and even the family dynamic at home. They need to be taught that bullying is not acceptable in any form. Parents have to be that example. By nurturing empathy in their kids and challenging them to consider what it would be like if someone bullied them in return, parents can affect real change.
Categories: Tweens/Teen Safety