One of the last things you want to be called in the school would be about bullying, but what if you haven’t been called for your child being a victim rather your child being the bully? Your reflex would be to deny it –after all, how could your little angel be indulged in something so nasty? –but you cannot ignore the fact. Breathe deeply and understand the situation and do whatever you need to do to make sure you are not raising a bully.
Follow these steps to get started.
- Elicit out the exact problem. You must have got angry at first but you should calm down. Try to hear the incident from your own child’s mouth, in his own words, ask about his role in the incident. Kids should take responsibility for their behavior. If your child is trying to push the blame to other children then firmly reiterate and tell him that you are not interested about other participants’ role.
- Make him empathize with victim. When you are done finding out your child’s side of the story, ask him to put himself in the shoes of victim. How would have he felt if someone did the same to him? Instilling empathy prevents bullying at an early stage.
- Ask your child to reimburse. Once your child has accepted his mistake and acknowledged whatever harm he caused, the time has come make amendments. Amendment would mean apologies in front of the guidance counselor, or, if it’s the case of cyber-bullying then the bully should send an e-mail with confession to all the recipients.
Generally, rumors spread on the internet are hard to fix. If the rumors have caught extreme fire then the bully should be asked to pay for a Web scrubber –they remove nasty web pages in Google search results.
- Understand the root of bullying. Just because your child committed a mistake doesn’t has to mean that he’s a bad kid or you are a bad parent. What it has to mean is that he’s struggling to get something that he wants like acknowledgement, attention or control. This causes irritation and bad behavior in your kid. So, you should help him brainstorm and look for positive ways to act. Teach him better ways to address those desires.
- Ask school to get involved. It’s not possible to monitor your child all the time as he has to go to school, playground and other places. If you believe your child is a bully, then ask others to keep a tab on him like the teachers, other parents in the ground, or coaches.
- Become a role model. Chances are that those behavioral traits are coming from you. You should examine your behavior in the home. Are you being dominant on your partner? Are you cruel to the salesperson? Do you gossip and spread rumors? Kids observe your behavior and learn from it, thus you should be careful that there is no difference between what you preach and what you do.