Family problems are not always the root for bullying but it is every parent’s obligation to always examine the behavior and personal interactions the child witnesses at home.
Home is where a child learns the basic manners and ethics. If your child lives with taunting or name-calling from a sibling or from you or another parent, it could create aggressive or hurtful behavior to your child when he or she is outside the home. Innocent teasing at home may actually become model bullying behaviors that a child could adapt. It is important to always maintain a positive home atmosphere so your child can reflect it when he or she is already outside your home.
Here are a number of ways you can encourage your child on how to give up bullying when you observe your child is having a bullying behavior.
Put emphasis that bullying is a serious problem. Let your child understand that you do not tolerate bullying because it is a bad behavior and bullying others will have consequences at home. For example, the teacher informed you that your child got his classmate’s pen and teased him. Because of this, you can restrict your child’s curfew. He needs to be home after class hours and he could not play outside with his friends for one week.
Teach your child to respect others despite of the individual differences. Teach your child to show kindness to everyone no matter how they look, act or behave. Let your child understand that everyone is unique and he or she should embrace that. He or she should not ridicule others because they look ugly, incapacitated or less fortunate. Everyone has rights and feelings and they should be respected regardless of their race, religion, appearance, special needs, gender and economic status.
Try to find out if your child’s friends are also bullying. Your child could be sometimes influenced by the untoward behaviors of his or her peers. If so, you can seek a group intervention through your child’s principal, school counselor, and/or teachers. You can talk with the school staff and ask how they can help your child and his peers change their bad behavior. Be sure to keep in close contact with them so you can monitor your child’s progress.
Observe your child when he or she is interacting with others. You need to set limit with your child. When he or she is not behaving properly, you need to stop any evidence of aggression immediately. Explain to your child why you did this and help him or her to find healthier and nonviolent ways to react to the situation. On the other hand, if your child has done something good, you need to praise the appropriate behavior. This would be an encouragement for him or her to do good always. Positive reinforcement is more powerful than negative discipline.
Set realistic goals towards your child. Do not expect an instant change to your child’s behavior. As your child learns to modify and change his or her behaviors, assure your child that you still love him or her – it’s the behavior that you don’t like.