Bullying is never acceptable in a society where each and every human being is entitled to respectful treatment. When hearing the word “Bully” most of you think of the words like “being mean, disrespectful, low self-esteem, threatening, taunting, beating and verbally or physically abusing.
It is a significant issue that affects people of all ages and can take many different forms. But, it takes a serious turn when it happens among kids, more importantly younger grades. Kids getting bullied is a sensitive issue and no parents want their child to be bullied.
No matter what else is going on, the fear of your kid might be picked on by a bully never leaves. Imagining your kid getting hurt by a group or a single person can be heartbreaking.
But, what if a parent approaches you and complains about your kid for bullying their kid? It would be the one scenario you never imagined.
Acknowledging the fact that your kid is a bully can be distressing. It can be a mixture of shock, fear, embarrassment, and disbelief. The first and foremost response from you would be “I know my kid, she would never hurt anyone”.
The truth, sadly is no parent knows their kid hundred percent. You might not know how to handle the situation or deal with your kid’s mental health. Following some of the below tips can help you overcome this tough path without creating any war.
Handling The Parents of Bully-Victims:
Most crucial part of an incident is handling the parents of the kids who got bullied. When a mom or dad approach you stating that your kid bullied their kid, you would normally get defensive.
You would speak for your kid because you didn’t see it coming. But, it is a wrong way to treat a parent and it does no good for your kid too. Hearing a negative thing about your kid will be devastating but you should stay strong to deal the situation in a better way.
What should you do?
- Take a deep breath and let them know you understand the seriousness of the issue.
- Acknowledge the matter.
- Convey your apology.
- Let them know you will try to resolve the issue but before you need to hear the other side of the story from your kid. Make sure no one is hurt by doing it gently.
Analyzing The Situation and Dealing With It:
The fear of “your kid may be bullied one day” has turned upside down. Hearing the different truth which you never imagined makes you feel stupid.
The confidence of “I know my kid” has taken a beating. You might feel a heaviness in your heart which urges you to corner your kid and inquire about the bully situation. But, never do that. Instead, approach your kid and make sure he is well fed. Make him feel relax and calm and sit with your kid. Speak in a firm tone and ask him what happened and why he behaved in a certain way.
Assure your kid that you are not being judgmental and ready to listen to his side of the story. Once he explains don’t load him with pieces of advice which is of no use here. Instead, ask him questions in a polite way which gives him some time to realize the mistakes. For instance, ask him ” Do you think what you did is right?”, Is the way you behaved is respectful?” , “Will it be ok if you are treated in the same way?”
Emphasize the discussion by teaching him the fair treatment and respectful deeds. Doing this way you can prevent the bullying attitude in the initial stages.
What If The Bullying Is No More In The Initial Phase:
Unfortunately, many parents are not aware of bullying incidents until or unless it seeks serious attention. So, what if you are in no place to prevent it in the earlier stage?
It’s very important to remember that children who bully are still children. Without any proper help and guidance, they could never understand what is happening to them. It’s our responsibility to care and treat them in an appropriate way. Taking note of bullying habits, victimized behavior and following the below tips can be helpful for early intervention.
To stop them from not bullying other kids:
- Never call your kid a “Bully”. Parents addressing their own kids as bully causes more reasons to act in a weird way.
- It’s important that you communicate with the school and consider what issues, either at home or school, could be contributing to your kid’s bullying behavior.
- Try role-playing with different scenarios to teach your child how to treat others with respect and kindness.
- Encourage good behavior and keep a reward system in place. Books can be a great reward idea. Never use monetary gifts for rewarding kids.
- Get to know your kid’s social life, friends and other persons they spend time with. Make sure there are no people with inappropriate behavior. Bad role models with anger issues and superiority attitude can be a bad influence.
- Look for changes in habit, behavior, physical and mental health like constant anxiety, loss of self-confidence, skipping meals, fake health complaints etc.
- When a situation is out of your hand don’t hesitate to ask for help. There are many bullying prevention programs in schools which could be of great help. Counseling and therapy can also be a better option.
- Never discipline your kid by constantly belittling them. Enforcing rules with a heavy hand is not the right way to treat your kid.
It is certain that you need to find the root of the behavioral problem. Provide the proper care to make your kid realize that bullying is not acceptable anywhere and anytime! Has your child ever been accused of being a bully? What steps would you suggest to other parents?