Bullying is an insidious behaviour that appears to be escalating in our society. There are a few reasons why we believe this is becoming more prominent and part of this is due to people finally speaking out and seeking support. We are becoming more aware.
Bullying is defined as unwanted, hostile behaviour that involves a power imbalance. The behaviour is repeated over time and is deliberate in nature.
Any child or teen that is being bullied needs to speak with someone. This may be a parent, the school Counsellor, a grandparent, aunt or uncle. They need someone to share their feelings with and to receive support from.
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What makes a child a bully?
Bullying is a learned behaviour. No child is born knowing how to bully someone. This behaviour is often learned at home or from a significant person in the child’s life.
When they bully they are noticed, they are feared, they become someone. This allows their self-confidence to build and enables them to feel a sense of control in their life. A feeling that is often deficient in their life.
A bully is simply a person who lacks love and positive attention in their life. They have low self-esteem and do not know another way to feel good about themselves so they behave in a way they have learned.
What can a parent do if they recognise their child is displaying bullying behaviour to others?
If you recognise your child is displaying bullying behaviour, take time to discuss this behaviour in a non-judgmental way to determine the reason why they are doing this. Speak about the bullying as an external event in the third person such as ‘when you do this bullying behaviour, what is it you are trying to achieve?” If the child struggles to understand the reason why they are doing this or will not accept it is a problem, suggest some counselling so they can talk about their feelings in a confidential and safe environment. No one bullies if they are balanced, happy and strong. Explaining how it makes you or another family member feel may not have much impact as they may be unable to process the emotions experienced by others.
If you understand the behaviour is learned from home then strong discussions with the parent who is displaying these behaviours is necessary. Perhaps they learnt it from their parents as well. The cycle must be stopped and taking charge and responsibility for your behaviour is the first step to rectifying and resetting better modelling behaviours.
How can parents help their child who is experiencing bullying.
Any child who is experiencing bullying displays changes in their behaviour. They may become isolated, be less communicative, appear sad and withdrawn, and can become angry over no specific reason. They may want to withdraw from school and events and have fewer friends to associate with. Notice any changes in your child’s behaviour or eating patterns and if they seem to be sleeping more.
It can be difficult at times to open up a conversation with your teen however if you suspect any issues ask them to give you a moment of their time as you are concerned and would appreciate them sharing details about what is occurring or what they are feeling. If they remain closed speak to school teachers or year advisors so they can keep an eye on things at school and report any issues they may notice.
1. Talk to your child, ask them to share their feelings, listen and support them as it is vital a child never keeps it to themselves
2. Refrain from telling them what they should do, ask your child what they think they may be able to do about the bullying, kids often have a great resilience and once given the opportunity may come up with their own answers that can work for them
3. Ensure your child understands they have done nothing wrong
4. Have the child do something they are good at and help build up their self-esteem to believe in them self again
5. Have your child spend time with friends that will support them
6. Find places your child can go and enjoy themselves without fear of the bully being around
Working to recover, rebuild strength and self-belief are the starting points of your child reclaiming their sense of self and confidence. Left unattended the results of bullying can last a lifetime.
Once the victim understands the reason a bully is bullying, it can often be helpful for them. Sometimes the victim can even feel sorry for the bully knowing the life they must have at home and how sad they really are to act in such a horrendous way.
Any parent concerned their child may be experiencing bullying, you can get your Free eBook now by simply emailing Dr Karen here. You will then receive a 25 page booklet to support your child and understand what is occurring. This book also provides information for any parent unsure if their child’s behaviour is due to bullying.
The full Bully Recovery Program will be available soon, please register to receive information when you receive your Free eBook.
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