Bullying. It’s a hateful word with even more hateful actions. Many do it. Many receive it. And many are witnesses to it. Whether it’s verbal, social, or physical, it’s wrong! I think we can all agree on that. What some can’t agree on is how to stop it. Why? Because it hasn’t been stopped. Bullying is a vicious cycle. In a lot of cases, the bully has been bullied, the person being bullied has a more probable opportunity to bully another sometime in their life. Those who are both bullied and bully others may be at more risk for negative outcomes.
It’s a never-ending battle, right? Wrong.
Why? Why do bullies, bully? This may not be all, but the most common.
Insecurity. Many take their insecurities out on others.
Jealousy. You have it. I want it. I can’t have it, so I’m just going to push you down for having it.
Anger. So many do not know how to properly manage their anger.
Family. A lack of involvement or overly permissive parents. Not feeling the love and warmth at home(not saying it may not be there, but not feeling it).
Monkey See, Monkey Do. The curse of being a product of your environment. Whether it be family, peers, video game, movies, etc.
Preventing bullying doesn’t start when children begin interacting socially. It doesn’t start when they begin school. And it definitely doesn’t start when it’s taking place. It should start from the time they were born. Let’s prevent the few “why’s” above.
Insecurities. Teach your child to love themselves for who they are and who they want to be. It’s important for children to learn to love themselves. Not in a narcissistic way, but in a “I’m happy to be me!” way. This often happens in late teens & twenties. It’s essential for it to begin earlier. Tell them you are proud of who they are and who they are not. Teach your children, it’s ok, actually, it’s great to be different!
Jealousy & Envy are very common and are very normal emotions. There’s this entitlement complex being thrown around these day. Children need to be taught that they need to work for what they want and sometimes things don’t work out in your favor. Life is not fair. Example: Johnny gets bad grades. He constantly picks on Jimmy because he gets good grades. Is the problem bullying here, yes. But the underlining problem is Johnny being envious and wanting good grades. Teach children that it’s ok for someone else to have something you want and be grateful for what they have. Goals are important to have at any age.
Misplaced anger is often the case in bullying. Learning an acceptable outlet to channel your frustrations is so important. Even adults stumble on this one.
Punishing your child for wrong doings is not bad. Being a lazy parent is bad. You brought them into this world and it is your responsibility to shape them into healthy, decent, and hopefully happy individuals. Involve yourself in your child’s life. Show them love in a way that they feel it. Saying I love you can become habit and meaningless. Talk with them, learn what their problems and highlights were for the day. Even if they are miniscule to you, they are important to them which should be important to you. Be present in your child’s life.
Parents need to take responsibility when the time is right. Being brought up in a home where they are picked on, when they are told they aren’t good enough, where they play video games, and watch movies, where bullying is allowed or the cool thing to do, is pushing the bully merry-go-round. When a child studies an adult, their parents, etc, bullying someone, as small as it might seem, you are teaching them, it’s ok. Children imitate you, they love it, give them someone amazing to imitate. Someone kind, loving, a good doer.
All these things don’t just help a child from not bullying, it can also help a child that is being bullied.
Parents. We can make a difference. Today. For the better. In our children’s world.
When your child gets home from school today or wakes up from their nap, talk with them. Ask questions. Ask the RIGHT questions. “How was your day?” will not cut it and you will probably get a one or two word answer.
Stopping bullying is not the answer, solving it is.