No parent wants to believe that their child could be a bully. Perhaps besides getting a call from school or learning that your child has been bullied, a parent’s nightmare would be learning that your child is the bully. Bullying traits do not appear from out of the blues. Most times as a parent you’ve noticed a sign or two in your child. However, it is difficult to admit to yourself that your child could intentionally cause harm to others. If you notice any of these signs in your child, pay closer attention and seek corrective measures.
- Your child teases other children
Often children tease each other as a way of making fun. However, if you notice that your child takes the teasing too personally there could be a bigger problem. Often such kids will pick on other kids’ traits that are different such as racial differences, social status, and physical appearances. If your child takes teasing too far, then they could be a bully.
- Your child is always getting in trouble
This is probably one of the obvious signs that there is a problem. If you have a child who is constantly in trouble whether in school or at home with your neighbours you are probably getting reports that they are a bully. Such a child is often embarrassing other kids, being mischievous or acts aggressively towards other children. This kind of behaviour requires urgent action since it only gets worse if it’s not nipped in the bud.
- Your child’s friends are aggressive and often get in trouble
Most bullies walk in groups. Bullies are often the popular kids in school or in the neighbourhood. They have other friends who either behave the same way or condone the behaviour. Some will do it to fit in with the rest of their peers. Meanness towards other kids becomes a way of having fun and asserting power over their peers. If your child’s friends act in this way there’s a good chance that your child is a bully too.
- Your child always plays the victim
A bully will never admit that they are at fault. Once caught doing the wrong thing they try to manipulate the situation with excuses. They tend to argue that the other person deserved it or related explanations.
- Your child has also experienced bullying
Some children will bully others as a result of being previously bullied. It could be a way to try and regain control and confidence. In an environment where there is a lot of bullying, kids who have been on the receiving end turn to bullying as a defence mechanism. As a parent, it is important to ensure that if your child has been bullied they get the appropriate help. Victims of bullying need to find positive ways of dealing and healing from the trauma.
- Your child has sleeping problems
Sleep in children affects behaviour. According to paediatric research, children who sleep for less that the recommended number of hours have problems controlling emotions, cognitive abilities and general behaviour. Due to insufficient sleep the brain has a problem with processing information so kids with trouble sleeping react before fully processing the situation. If you notice that your child is having trouble sleeping then they are probably irritable too. Seek help for them.
- Your child lives in a violent environment
Kids will act as they see in their homes. If there is much violence at home then this will reflect in their behaviour. Such children use violence to communicate. They will easily get into fights with other children. Parents have to be extra conscious about what they expose their children to.
- Your child lacks empathy
Bullies lack empathy for others. This is regardless of whether they are children or adults. Bullies will enjoy other’s pain and even lack sympathy. They do not put themselves in the other person’s shoes. For example, if your child laughs at other kids’ failure or disabled people then that should tell you there is a bigger problem.
Given the rise of bullying cases, as a parent one needs to be vigilant with their child’s behaviour. Nevertheless, most behavioural problems can be resolved early on before they build up to bigger issues. Further, bullying stems from issues like lack of self-esteem, need to fit in or environmental influence. Solving the underlying problem would reduce cases of bullying.