Is your child a bully?

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)!


Paranoid parenting

I guess I will be putting up a disclaimer here that this post is strictly my opinion and experience.

There was a time when the children were happy with only 2 pairs of clothes, eating out once in 6 months, no pocket money, no gadgets, and would abide by whatever the parents said (no questioning allowed or entertained).  Parents and teachers could rebuke and punish the kids for their obnoxious behaviour and discipline them without being questioned too much.  The kids grew up just fine.

Times have changed and so have parenting ideas and notions.  Parents have become much more friendlier and approachable and treat the kids as their friends.  The children are treated as individuals right from a very young age, allowed to exercise their choices, most of their demands are met with, and the strictness has given way to leniency.

But this trend has given birth to paranoid parents as well.  The babies when they start crawling are made to wear knee pads, parents try to ensure that they do not fall while learning to walk or run, try to make special dishes for 2 year olds instead of giving them the same food that they have.  Disciplining is something some parents equate to “training” which I totally disagree!  A child doesn’t understand the difference between good and bad, acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.  Its for the parents to make them aware of that.  Just as hitting the child for disciplining is unacceptable, hugging the child when he is obnoxiously mischievous is also a big NO.  The teachers are not allowed to even give a simple time-out to the children as punishment.  The parents come running to the school and starting insulting the teacher in front of the kids.  How will these kids respect the teachers or elders if their own parents are setting a bad example?

My own experience of raising 2 kids who are now fairly grown-up and are well-behaved and balanced individuals has taught me to strike a balance.  Might be I am not right all the time, I go overboard, but I am happy that my kids till date have never disrespected any teacher, elder, smaller kids, or animals. I did not “train” them; I inculcated right values from a very young age. are kids and will be naughty, rebellious, questioning all the time, but there is a very thin line between being naughty and obnoxious.

Parents shouldn’t be paranoid about each and everything; they should let the child fall, hurt, bruise, learn from his/her mistakes; allow them to eat everything; rebuke them (not insult) as and when required and correct their follies.

When I was a child I used to get annoyed with my mom sometimes for correcting me but today I am thankful to her for doing so.  The values instilled by her has helped me in becoming a better mother.

Parenting is to be enjoyed and cherished and a fine balance needs to be maintained by neither being too lenient nor too paranoid.

Happy parenting!