Is My Child A Bully?
No one would wish to have their children bullied, but what if you are the mom of a child bully?
Statistics show that 20 percent of girls and 25 percent of boys are affected by school bullies and can start to be an issue beginning in preschool.
Girls are more likely to engage in shunning, ridicule and harassment. Boys typically torture their victim with physical force and/or damage their belongings to gain status or control.
However, female bullies can be just as brutal. They may purposefully instigate fights with their victim by repeatedly pushing, punching or slapping them to cause physical harm.
As a mother teens, I’m very concerned about the rising incidents of school bullying happening right now, and I’d like to share helpful tips on how to help your teen change his or her bully behavior.
Signs Your Teen Is A Bully
An isolated act of aggression could probably be overlooked. But you’ve noticed a disturbing pattern in your teen’s behavior that just can’t be ignored any longer.
Suddenly, the question that you’ve suspected and feared all along crosses your mind: Is my teenager a bully? Although the methods of a bully may differ, the characteristics of a bully are basically the same including:
- Failing to show concern or regard for others’ feelings
- Displaying sharp bursts of anger over personal problems they can’t handle
- Craving control and status from classmates
- Having a lack of self-esteem
- The bully’s parents fail to provide proper discipline
- He or she is also the victim of bullying
Cyber bullying is more clever in its approach and harder for parents and teachers to detect. Cyberbullying usually involves spreading rumors, teasing and posting insulting comments about someone’s appearance or social status, for example, to tear down and damage the victim’s reputation and self-esteem.
There’s no physical behavioral evidence for parents and teachers to witness with cyber bullying, so attacks can go on longer and become more severe in time.
How Do I Stop My Kid’s Behavior?
“You’re not talking about my child!” Your first reaction could be to deny that there’s a problem altogether. It can be hard to admit that your child is a bully even after you’ve received continual feedback and warnings from your teen’s teachers that their behavior is unacceptable.
But you can’t will this type of problem away! Sooner or later, it has to be addressed. It’s normal to get a little defensive, but is it possible that the bearer of bad news could be doing you a favor?
Don’t Reward Bad Behavior
The worst thing you could ever do is be passive or even proud of your child’s bully behavior. While it’s true that no one can dictate how to raise your teen, it’s important to realize how your attitude related to your teen’s bully behavior could create an ever bigger problem as they grow older.
Instead of taking the attitude that high school is just another place for the survival of the fittest, take immediate action to adjust your teen’s negative traits:
- Explain the harmful effect your teen’s behavior causes to other children.
- Teach by example. Practice kindness and empathy toward others and encourage them to apologize for hurting someone.
- Role play how it feels to be bullied to help them understand why their actions are wrong.
- Toleration of bullying isn’t up for debate. Let your child know that there will be consequences if their bullying continues.
- Educate your male teen how to express their masculinity and deal with challenging/threatening situations in more positive ways instead of using violence.
- Commend your daughter for showing compassion for others.
- Take a bully prevention training course to educate yourself about the signs and symptoms of bullying.
- Take notice of what is on television, online or music choices your kid listens to.
- Try to understand the motivation behind your teen’s bullying. Do they have learning limitations or lack social skills? Are your teen’s friends bullies?
- Seek professional mental help for your child.
Bullying Can Lead to Teen Suicide
There are consequences for every action and sometimes these consequences can prove fatal. The signs of emotional damage caused by constant verbal and physical bullying may go unnoticed until it’s too late.
The recent death of a 16-year-old-girl who killed herself after repeatedly being bullied by her classmates can teach a parent a valuable lesson about. Bullying is more than harmless fun or teasing. It’s a power play meant to inflict pain in the life of the bully’s victim.
Check out this YouTube video to see the sad impact of bullying among teens.
Parenting a teen that engages in bully behavior can definitely cause its own level of anxiety. Understandably, your teen’s traits can be much much harder to change.
Moreover, many high school bullies continue to create social chaos once they enter the workplace. However, there are many things you can do to stop your teen’s bullying streak.
Take immediate action to help your child learn appropriate ways of handling their feelings, peer pressure and interaction with others. They should learn to regard other’s feelings and be held accountable for their attacks whether it’s in person or on a website.
If your teen’s behavior doesn’t improve with a stern talk, then it may be time for you to seek the help of a mental health professional.