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Published on Jul 8, 2011
Parenting: What if Your Child is a Bully? - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats.
What if Your Child is a Bully?
Children who bully usually feel down in some way. Kids who feel confident about themselves don't have to really bully other children. So, the best way help your child not be a bully is to get to whatever it is that's bothering him or her, some sort of insecurity. Maybe they're not doing so well in school, so get them some academic help. Maybe they're upset about things going on at home, so help them get a better life at home in whatever way you possibly can. Reassure your children that they are very important to you even if they're bullying. Don't blame them. Don't judge them. Don't punish them.
And also, if your child is a bully, it could just be that he saw somebody bully someone else and just decided to try it once. Sometimes really good kids just run an experiment on something and go down the wrong path. Because they're kids, they're immature. They just try things. Don't make a big deal out of it if there's just been one bullying experience. Tell the kids, you know, "I know you're not going to do that again, and that was really an experiment that went wrong, and I know you don't have a reason why you have to bully other children. Remember our family value is that we show respect to other people."
If the bullying continues, I would suggest taking the child to the school and talking to the counselor or the principal or the teacher and saying, "What is the school policy on bullying," and getting it very clear, in front of the child, what the school policy is, why the school discourages bullying and help the child see it from a perspective of the adults in his or her world.
You may also want to role-play with your child. You be the child and the child bullies you in a role-playing setting, or you could be the bully and the child is the victim. You can play it both ways so that the child can see it from both perspectives and how it just doesn't feel good at all to be the one who's being bullied.
And I think those things can really help a child get a better perspective, saying we just don't bully in our family, talk about our family values. In our family is a very good phrase to be using. And any time your child shows respect for someone else, give him or her heartfelt appreciation. "When you show respect that way, I feel extremely proud of you, and I just love to see how compassionate you can really be toward other people." Give energy to the things that you want your child to do, and give no energy to the things you do not want your child to do. So watch, like Sherlock Holmes, for successes so you can download a success into that heart and say, "When you, I feel because..."