Google+ Authentic Parenting: How to Prevent Your Child from Becoming a Bully

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How to Prevent Your Child from Becoming a Bully

Bullying starts as an anger issue in the minds of most children who bully other kids. The last thing parents want is for their children to be bullied, but it is equally important for parents to be sure that their own children are not the ones bullying others. Bullying needs to be dealt with right away to get the problem under control, and as parents we are most responsible for making sure this happens.

If you catch your child pushing around another kid, calling him names, or threatening him, intervene immediately. Separate the children before you start asking what happened, and don't involve any other children who may have been witnesses. Remain calm; becoming angry and screaming at your kid only reinforces the behavior you are trying to eradicate. Have your child apologize, but only after tensions have boiled down and while you are nearby.

Image: trix0r
As soon as you are aware of the bullying issue, consider why your child may be acting out. If you are going through a divorce or have gotten a new boyfriend/girlfriend, your kid could very well be angry about the situation and doesn't know any other way to express that anger. Your little bully could also be the victim of older bullies, including classmates, older students on the school bus or playground, or even his own siblings. Finding out the root cause is the most proactive way to get your child back on the right track.

Invite your child to talk about it. Most kids don't want to talk about their feelings, especially if they feel anger toward one or both of their parents, but try to make them understand that these feelings are natural and need to be addressed. Be kind and understanding, and go into this conversation expecting your child to say something you didn't think he would say. You may find that the issue was not as complex as you supposed.

Remember, too, that children do what they see us do. Every couple fights, but try to keep your disagreements to yourselves; wait until the children are at school or in bed to hash out your problems. Even your teen, who you may consider more mature, may have emotional problems that a marriage in disunity can distress even more. If talking to your child doesn't seem to work, or if you are at your wit's end with your child's out-of-control behavior, you may consider sending him to therapy or even a boys' or girls' home. Visit The Family Compass - Advice for Troubled Teens at their website, thefamilycompass.com, for more advice and information.


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