Did you recently notice a change in your child’s attitude? Is he aggressive or too shy to discuss things with you? Have you received any complaint from your child’s school or a friend or his own sibling about him/er trying to be dominating? Have you observed his aggression?
Children these days are very demanding and are reactive and sometimes over reactive to very small things. This may look normal due to the change in lifestyle and pampering that is done by the family as compared the previous generation but, it is alarming when their behavior is unacceptable in crowds or outside home. At times they are unpredictable. They often demand the impossible and behave absurd in public. Are they also bullying?
You need to observe closely to check if, they are :
- Involved in physical violence : Have you observed your child at play? Is he or she pushing or hitting the fellow children. Is s/he getting into fights and trying to physically dominate?
- psychological aggression: Is your child loud, screaming, yelling or raising voice to be proved right every time?
- Involved in teasing other children of similar age-group or younger kids : have you noticed him/er teasing or name calling other children and enjoying the discomfort of others while doing so? Is it a regular activity or is it happening when in group of children who bully? Does s/he have friends?
- Scaring others on purpose: this can be scaring by way of sounds or imaginary stories about ghosts or other strange creatures.
If any of the above stands true to belief or observed positive it’s time to take an action. Managing such children at an early age is anytime better than to delay. There are parents who keep saying “s/he is just a kid” to be over protective towards their children but, such an attitude often leads to a disappointing or embarrassing situation when on growing up the bullying takes form of crime. This may also lead to an antisocial behavior.It can be a difficult situation for the parents to learn that their child is bullying, but more important is to curb this habit and overcome the situation at the earliest possible.
The habit of bullying can arise due to many factors including negligence, over pampering, overlooking faults and often being a victim of being bullied. So, it is important to find out the root cause and help the child overcome this as this can be a devastating experience specially for the child and a teenager. It can be dangerous as mostly the wounds are deep rooted although unseen. So, bullying in any form should never be tolerated nor overlooked. So now the question is How to manage the kids who bully others?
Talk : A parent understands a kid the best; it is the best practice to talk to the children regularly to find out what is happening in their life. If a sudden change in the behavior is observed an immediate intervention should be required to find out the reason behind the same. Dominating behaviour can lead to loneliness in the long run.
Be Attentive : Do more than hearing, listen! Yes being attentive to what your child wants to share is very important else there can be a communication gap leading to a situation which can go beyond control. Shying away from the parents may lead to a wrong company because all of us need to be heard.
Empathize : When you child opens up, even if it is about confessing for a mistake, empathize. Before jumping on to conclusions and scolding right away, try to fit in the shoes s/he wears.
Connect : Connect! Not only with your child but also with the company she/he or he is in. Talk to the teachers and friends often to know about his/her behavior. Connect with people whom your child interacts with.
Be Disciplined : One has to set an example when there are eyes to observe and follow your footprints. If you want your child to be disciplined you have to practice what you preach. A few changes in your routine might help your child grow up into a better individual. Only preaching and checking on mistakes might result into a rebellious behaviour.
Be Authoritative : Over pampering is dangerous, one has to be authoritative and strict. Treating a kid leniently and in a friendly way is advisable only up to a specific limit but at times you need to be authoritative to teach the good and check the bad.
Avoid conflicts : Arguments, conflicts, fights, abuses don’t do any good. The hostile atmosphere leads to a covert living, somewhere there is a cocoon or insecurity developing you might not know. Avoid conflicts in front of children, they are like wet clay to be shaped. Shape them well.
Help the child build self esteem : A child should learn to respect. Respecting self is the first step to value others. So s/he must be taught the importance of self esteem. Only then can s/he respect the feelings of others. Treat others as you want to be treated should be the thumbrule.
Counsel : try to counsel at personal level but if it looks difficult to control the bullying, seek professional support, it is never too late to begin but, the earlier the better. And taking an expert’s advice and help is nothing to be ashamed of but, a better way to overcome the problem of the loved ones .
There is no single solution to prevent bullying but there’s always the best way out. Parents, friends and well wishers should work hand in hand to handle the situation that arises. There can be aggression, anger and a tendency to hurt; people encounter behavioral issues in children most often these days. It is not only the bullied that is insecure but also the one who bullies is under stress and behaves abnormal. Only a supportive attitude and making the victim believe that people are there to stand by can curb the habit of bullying and help the victim come out of the stress and fear.