As a parent, one of our biggest worries is our child being bullied at school. Equally as worrying is finding out that your child is the one doing the bullying. If we all put effort into raising caring, empathetic, and bully-free children, bullying would be a thing of the past, and we would be raising a generation of mindful, caring kids. These 6 ways to avoid raising a bully will help you put your child on the right track to being kind and mindful to others.
Engage In Your Child’s Life
To many, this goes without saying. However, for some parents, life gets in the way and they forget to take time to actively engage in their child’s life. They will instead spend most of their time directing and correcting their child instead of listening and getting to know their child. You need to take an interest in your child’s activities, life, and education. Take the time to get to know who your child actually is, without pushing a narrative of who you want them to be.
Teach Them Respect
Respect can make the world a better place, and teaching your child that everyone is unique and should be treated with kindness is one step in the right direction. Give your child clear expectations and ideas on how people should be treated, no matter if they are different from you.
Ingrain the idea that even if you do not like someone, you should still respect them.
Pay Attention To Sibling Interaction
It is normal for siblings to argue and squabble every now and then, but take note if this becomes a repetitive cycle of physical and verbal mean behaviour. Often, children who display this behaviour to their siblings at home do so to other kids at school as well. It might also turn out that the non-aggressive sibling then transfers this behaviour to other children at school to feel in control.
Sibling bullying should not just be accepted as something kids do, it should be addressed before it filters through to school and other social interactions.
Spend Time Getting To Know Your Child’s Friends
You will be amazed at what you can learn from your child’s friends. A car drive from school to home can give you a whole bunch of information you never thought you needed. School friends are a great insight into your child’s life, and who they hang out with at school. This gives you an idea of the crowd they surround themselves with and their general behaviour around other children.
Help Foster Empathy
It is common for bullies to lack empathy. This is why it is important to work with your child to help them better understand how their behaviour affects others. Help them see themselves in that situation, and ask them how they would feel.
Make a point of helping them notice other people in need. Encourage them to help others where they can. Even if it is just saying thank you to clerks at the shop.
Fostering empathy will help your child identify their own feelings. They then will be able to better identify the feelings of others.
Put An End To Bully Behaviour
Look for any signs of bullying. Whether it be at school or online, take the necessary steps to put an end to the behaviour. Make sure to take action with appropriate consequences. If the bullying is reported at school, work with those in charge to ensure that your child receives appropriate discipline. Fighting against the punishment shows your child that the behaviour is acceptable.