Nobody wants to hear that their child is a bully. Your little Angel inflicting pain on someone else would never have crossed your mind. Children often will engage in behavior that is not a reflection of who they are but it is a symptom of something else. Children are not born Bullies but they are still trying to figure out how the world works. Young and impressionable bodies just soaking everything they see and hear up like a sponge. So it is important to understand all the reasons why a child would be a bully…fear of being excluded, low self-esteem, not really understanding how they make someone else feel by their actions, acting out their angry feelings and most important, being bullied themselves?
At the end of the day, everything usually revolves around self-esteem. This definitely plays an important role because this is a basic sense of self-worth. It is not that you would think you are better than anyone else, it is about caring about you and others. Being confident in handling any situation and all the bumps that life will throw at you. The problem is that we as adults can articulate the complexity of understanding what this all means but a child has difficulty doing so. The trick is getting a young child to understand.
So if you are in a situation like this, take a step back, take a deep breathe in, breathe out, and let’s start from the beginning. When children have low self-esteem they see the bullying as a way of being superior and having control over something or someone. They can also be a victim of a bully themselves. I have personally seen where a child who has or is being bullied, bullies another smaller younger child. They also can have a problem at home. They witness something while at home and then they come to school and copy what they have seen. Deep inside they feel bad and want others to feel the same pain too. Or maybe it is a form of jealousy, being used to receiving all the attention at home and then at school, the limelight is taken away by others.
Just take a deep breath, gather all the details, and work together for a positive outcome
Start with talking to your child about how they act out but be sure to be a good listener. They need to understand that it is ok to admit when they have made a mistake. BUT they need to also understand how the other person feels too. As Parents, we need to empower our children to be confident, to be socially resilient, to learn how to self manage and be self-aware. As Parents, we need to understand the impact our Parenting style has on our children and how this can overlap into bullying. Our Parenting styles can affect a whole wealth of things from how much your child weighs to how they feel about themselves. So how you interact, discipline, love, and nurture will have a lifelong impact for the rest of their lives. It will shape them into who they will become.
Understanding and correcting if your child is a bully is a layered process. If we had a manual on how to raise children, life would be easy. But as long as it is understood that everything starts at home, with love, support, dedication and having a positive relationship with your children, your children will reap the rewards.