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Is your child the school bully?

Parenting
 Parents often wonder where they are going wrong when their children turn into bullies (Photo: iStock)

There is no bad child. All children just need some nudging and guidance. No parent ever wants to hear that their child is afflicting harm to other children.

When you hear other parents complaining about it or you notice that your child is constantly getting into fights and other problems, that is not the time to defend them and be in denial. You need to realise that there is a serious issue at hand that needs to be addressed.

Many might assume that it is just what children do. They tease each other and get into tiffs. When faced with this harsh reality, parents wonder why their children turn to bullying and the reasons vary.

For some, it solves their social problems. While for others it could be out of peer pressure because as they try to fit in, they perceive the behaviour of other children as hostile.

He or she may also be getting bullied, and they may not be aware of how their actions affect other children - which is particularly the case for younger children. Or they could simply be looking for attention after failing to get it through other channels.

 If you yell at each other and abuse your children, expect nothing less from them (Photo: iStock)

Children are also not the best at controlling their emotions and bullying may stem from their inability to control their impulses. Thus bullying becomes the easiest way they know out instead of trying to work things out and solve problems.

It may also be a reflection of the environment they are growing up in. If you as a parent yells and hits your spouse or abuse your children, expect nothing less from your children. They assume that this is how they can always get their way by establishing fear and command through force.

That however does not mean that your child is a lost cause. According to Jamie Howard, PhD and Director of the Stress and Resilience Programme at the Child Mind Institute, "they are still figuring things out. They can be nice children who have made some mistakes.’’

And that is why you need to address their bad actions immediately. Regardless of their reasons, there must be consequences for their poor choices. Considering you are probably shocked and annoyed at them after receiving the news, you must calm down first before finding out the root cause or they will shut down and not want to talk.

Find out all the facts then break it down to them why what they did is wrong in a manner they will understand. Thereafter let them know that such behaviour will not be tolerated and give them the punishment that fits the crime.

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