There is no child who has been spared by a bully. Right from the time a toddler starts being social, starts going to the park, playschool, neighbors, he/she definitely faces another child who loves to bully; loves to hit, push, throw toys, snatch toys, can’t take NO for an answer, loves it when the other kids cry. Why is it that some children love to bully others? What is it that makes them a bully right from their childhood? Is it just their fault or somewhere the parents are at folly too? What gives him the “authority” to tease, hit, push, irritate others? There is a difference in being naughty and being a bully. As the child starts growing and if he is not controlled the bullying tendency spirals. The parents have a big role to play here.
Imagine a scenario where a cute little kid goes to the park with his parent and is waiting for his turn in the slide. Suddenly the child standing behind him pushes him and with a glee slides breaking the queue and also hurting the other child!! Sounds familiar? Just think, is that bully your child? You might be in denial. You might say that my child is naughty like any other child of his age, but just sit down and think isn’t there a difference in being naughty and being a bully?
Who is a bully? A bully is someone who uses power to intimidate others, hurt others, tries to thrust superiority upon others. Such kids are used to having their way at home, who cannot take NO for an answer, who are used to throwing tantrums. Are you the kind of a parent who gives in to the child’s tantrums always? Do you laugh or go gaga when your child hits you or others, throws things, shouts or yells at other kids? Do you believe that this is a sign of smartness?
Parents are the first teachers of a kid, they lay the foundation of the child’s behavior. We all love our children and love to watch their new antics every day. But hey, do learn to differentiate between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Correcting a faulty behavior, learning to discipline or saying No might sound difficult but it is really not. Often as parents you might think that the child is too young to understand what we explain but the age-appropriate channel of communication should be started pretty early. Children also emulate the parents a lot. So, just keep an eye on your own behavior. As parents, as citizens keep a track of your own behavior.
If your child is a bully, you will tend to get complaints from other children and their parents. Don’t become defiant (just as your child). Listen to the others patiently; just do not dismiss their complaints. Also, don’t start scolding your child then and there itself. Talk to your child when he and you both are calm.
Parenting is a big challenge in every step. Don’t ignore or panic if your child is a bully. Take charge, after all you are the parent. Help your child to shape up into a better individual. He will learn to be considerate, compassionate, make more friends. If he continues to bully, he will be left alone. Other children will fear him, ignore him, hate him, and he might remain friendless. Socially the parents will boycott your child. He will become more resentful.
As a parent, learn to say NO, give him rewards and time-outs as and when necessary. Keep on talking to him. Tell him being bully is “not cool”.
Help your child to attain a healthy and happy childhood where he should be social, not anti-social (bully)!