How to Tell if Your Child is a Bully
Many parents do not want to admit that their child is a bully. And if they do, they want to pass it off as a childish phase that the child is going through. It is important for parents to realise that bullying is not a normal behaviour and it is a very serious situation. There are certain things that parents can look for to ensure that their child is not a bully and if they are that they cease this behaviour as soon as possible. Bullying can have very serious long term not only on the victims but on the bully themselves.
Children who are bullies have very little empathy for other people. They tend to be short tempered and are easily aggravated and impulsive. They often tend to be sore losers and bad winners. They are controlling and aggressive. Children who bully tend to get into fights frequently with their siblings and with other children.
Watch how your child interacts with others. Do they exclude certain children from playing? Do they always have to be in control and be the leader? Are they aggressive towards others? Does the play involve hitting or physical contact?
Children who are bullies do not respond well to rules and discipline. Talk to your child’s teachers and find out how they are behaving at school. Does your child have a lot of friends? How do they interact? Your child may not be the bully but may be a part of a group that is bullying others. As a way of fitting in with a peer group your child may be behaving out of character.
Joking between friends is fine but should only go so far. If one child is constantly being singled out this is bullying. If the jokes are hurtful or discriminating the behaviour should be stopped. If the jokes are intended to humiliate or embarrass the other child it is bullying. If the other child is not responding in a joking laughing manner but seems to be fearful or timid it could be bullying.
Spreading rumours or gossiping about other children in a hurtful way is a form of bullying. Emotional bullying can have very damaging effects. Sending cruel or hurtful e-mails or text messages is another form of bullying. Children use these methods to intimidate and humiliate others. Making fun of another child when they are not present and are unable to defend themselves could be bullying.
If you suspect that your child is bullying in any way, your best possible course of action is talking with your child about correct behaviour. Your child may not think they are a bully and they might not realise the hurt that are causing others. It is important for them to realise that these behaviours are hurtful to everyone and are not tolerated.