Most parents never expect their child to be the bully.
It is an unfortunate development, of course, but the next best thing you can do as a parent would be to act on it. Do not prolong the problem. At the beginning, getting rid of the bully mentality may be a tough job, but it can be done.
The first step to doing so is to identify and verify that it truly is happening. Check if your child is exhibiting negative or abusive behavior towards others. Are they hostile to their peers and force them to submit? Do they intentionally hurt others – physically or emotionally – over and over again? If the answer is yes, then it is time to step in.
This should always be the first step when it comes to analyzing your child’s behavior. Talk to them, and gently let them know what they are doing is wrong. Sometimes, bullies may not even realize that what they are doing is actual bullying – some perceive it as simply “having fun” without knowing that it is already hurting others.
With that, teach them what bullying is, then emphasize how it is considered to be highly hurtful behavior.
If the talking did not work, then it is time to dig deeper. Try to find the root cause of their sudden aggression towards others. Take a look at your child’s environment, both at home and at school. Are they victims of other bullies themselves, or are they simply going along with others who are doing the same, making the act of bullying seem socially acceptable?
Do not be afraid to look at yourself as well. As a parent, have you been setting a good example to your child? Have you, at any time, displayed bullying behavior that your child may have ended up emulating?
Once you have the answer to these questions, or have successfully analyzed their environment, then address whatever it is that it causing them to behave this way. Home environments are easier to fix, seeing as you are the one in charge, but if it is an issue within the school then talk with those in authority as soon as you can. A change in classroom culture can do wonders for any bullying situation.
Bullies often do not understand how their victims feel. By teaching them concepts such as empathy, respect, compassion, and understanding, they will become more sensitive about the way they treat others. Also, try to show them that people tend to treat others as they are treated.
Let your child know that bullying is not okay under any circumstance. It will never be tolerated, and there will be consequences – from you and others – should they continue their bad behavior. In addition, you may also tell them what you expect of them. Things like which of their bullying ways they should change, how to treat others well, and most important of all, how to apologize to their victims, should be covered.
As a parent, you may already be aware of the amount of influence you hold over your child. Take advantage of the fact that children tend to emulate what they see and exemplify what it is like to treat others well. Be careful to show how being kind helps both oneself and others; over time your child may eventually abandon their ways and follow your example.
Being the parent of a bully does not have to be a defeat, as long as you are able to keep their bullying manifestations under control. Remember to give them praise or positive reinforcement whenever they do something kind, but also be prepared for setbacks because changing a child’s attitude often cannot be done overnight. Give them the patience, love, and care that they deserve and they are sure to do the same for others