School bullies are not a new phenomenon. They have always been present, causing untold misery and embarrassment to those unfortunate enough to be the focus of their torment.
Long before anyone ever conceived of the internet, there were individuals who hid their own insecurities by picking on others-psychologically or physically or both. Those who were ever the object of school bullies know how hurtful and esteem-sinking it can be and may even still carry inner scars from their experiences years later.
Bullying has been taken up several notches in more recent times, however, now that the cyber world allows people to persecute their targets anonymously. They can cause unlimited humiliation by posting negative and cruel comments to social networking sites or posting degrading videos to YouTube and other similar sites. Due to the huge numbers of people who can read and view these things online, it can lead to excessive ridicule and even damage reputations.
Much has been said, in wake of recent news headlines about the suicides of young people who were harassed to the point of taking their own lives, about how to defend your children from bullies. However, parents should also realize that they need to know how to prevent their kids from becoming bullies as well.
Some ways that may aid you in accomplishing this are:
Make certain that your child feels that you value him.
Some kids bully because they do not feel important or validated at home. Bullying may make them feel more important and empowered. Ensure that your child feels secure by regularly spending time with him, listening to what he has to say and praising him on .positive things he does. Reward him for doing good things and this will encourage him to keep on in this direction
.A secure child has no cause to seek negative attention
Look out for any signs of bullying conduct.
We all want to see our children through idealistic eyes.
The truth of the matter is that no child is perfect. Be observant about the ways your kid interacts with others. Watch him when he plays with others. Is he physically or verbally aggressive? Does he tend to pick on those who are smaller or less capable of standing up to him? This is indicative of a bully and the likelihood is that he continues with this conduct in school.
Should you see these kinds of negative behaviors, it is imperative that you address them right away. You need to do this consistently until he understands that bullying is totally unacceptable.
Refrain from enabling your child.
Naturally, you feel upset if your child is accused of bullying. Your initial reaction may be to deny that your child is a bully and to become defensive when you are informed that he is victimizing others.
This only enables him to continue in his behavior. When a teacher or principal or school counselor contacts you about your child’s negative actions, however, you should do what you can to help remedy the situation. Work with them to help change your child’s behavior and back them up when they have to reprimand or punish him.
Make sure that you also apply consequences at home. Take away privileges, restrict access to hobbies, such as talking on the telephone, going out with friends or being online and assign additional chores, etc.
While you don’t want to be overly tyrannical, you do want to make it clear that bullying is not something you will tolerate.
Check your own behavior.
Kids are apt to copy the way their parents act a home. If you respond to things in an aggressive manner, are verbally abusive, ridiculing and insensitive to the feelings of others, you are setting a bad example for your child to follow.
Be a positive role model by showing him how to be caring, kind and thoughtful. Try to keep from making fun of people or gossiping about others around him. Set a high standard for him to follow.
Teach them to empathize with others.
Have a serious discussion with your child and try to get him to think about what it would be like to be on the receiving end of bullying. Ask how he would feel if somebody kept treating him badly.
Perhaps looking at his behavior from that perspective may give him something to think about and cause him to reevaluate his conduct..
Consider, if necessary, getting professional counseling for your child.
If nothing you’ve tried seems to be working, in terms of changing bullying behavior, it might be time to seek outside help to address your child’s issues.
There may be deeper underlying reasons for why he feels the need to bully. Should there be more serious psychological problems at play, then a professional counselor may be able to provide assistance.