Ever wondered what a parent goes through when they hear from their child that they don’t want to go to school which was once their favorite place to be? After looking into it, what if the child says he/she is a bully and develops a hatred for themselves? He/She has been tormenting a number of his/ her classmates with their name-calling, physical violence, and even sexual harassment. Needless to say, they would be mortified and ashamed. Not only that they would be
No parent would be happy to know that their child is a bully. It is painful to know that your child can inflict harm to others whether verbally or physically. Bullying is a rare occurrence and often does more damage than the endowments. Bullying can take a lot of forms like physical violence, verbal taunts, threats and intimidation, extortion, or stealing money/possessions, spreading rumors, and harassment of any kind. If your child is said to be engaging in bullying behavior, it is serious distress. 1 out of 5 students admits to being a bully. Almost 56% of bullying takes place at school. The child may be experiencing anxiety, depression, or could be facing difficulty in regulating emotions and behavior. “Kids engage in all kinds of behavior that isn’t a reflection of who they are as a person,” says Dr. Jamie Howard, director of the Stress and Resilience Program at the Child Mind Institute. “They’re still figuring things out.
They can be nice kids who have made some mistakes.”
Multiple reasons for showcasing such unacceptable behavior could be that-
● The child wants to fit into a group who are picking on one classmate
● The child could be bullied at home so that they act aggressively to outrage.
● The child could have a more assertive personality and/or lack empathy.
● The child could have difficulty in conforming to social norms.
All of these listed reasons are very common among young children. Glancing through the roots of bullying behavior it is shown that there is a lack of warmth by parents or lack of acceptability of indifferent attitude or behavior.
But it is very important to talk to children and make them understand that they should treat others the way they would want to be treated by others. Children must be guided through appropriate friendly behavior. They must address the issue that would have caused their child to become a bully. Parents should spend more time with their child daily. They should reinforce positively or negatively as per their behavior in a situation. Children should be taught positive ways of dealing with anger. Empathy should be a child's core value.
Various possible ways that foster a positive relationship of your children with their peers are-
● Communicate- Be direct about the issue, but make it clear that you are open to hearing your child’s side of the story. If you are having trouble getting to the bottom of why your child is acting out, consider consulting a child psychologist or psychiatrist who has a lot of experience evaluating kids’ behaviors.
● Cope ahead- Encouraging your child to take the perspective of the person who is being bullied to cope ahead. Ask your child: “Can you think of a time when you felt left out or sad because somebody wasn’t being nice to you? That feeling you had is the same feeling your classmate is having because you aren’t being nice to them.”
● Look inward- It is important to start fostering a positive home environment, where members of the family treat one another with kindness and respect. Do not allow any negative behavior practiced around rather encourage upliftment.
It is important for each school or any institution to have an Anti-bullying Squad so that students can report cases of bullying and intervene immediately. There should be an encouragement of an atmosphere of Zero Tolerance to bullying. Identify and monitor bully zones in schools.
You never know what happens in anyone’s life so why not become a reason for someone’s smile. It only takes the right guidance and the right parenting for a child to become a buddy from a bully. Stand against bullying.
- Yashika Jain
(Bachelors in Applied Psychology)
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