Written by: Katya on 10/03/17
“Train a child the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
One of the many dilemmas parents have is finding out or seeing that their precious child is being bullied.
“Bullying,” as defined, is the use of superior strength or influence to intimidate someone, typically to force them to do something. It is a repetitive display of physical, social, or verbal aggression towards a less powerful person (or group) that is intended to cause harm or fear.
I was bullied at school as a child and it was one of those times in my life where I felt completely lonely and powerless.
What can I say… Looking back, I wish that I had the courage to stand up for myself or tell an adult what was going on then. The only time an adult interfered was when my mother started noticing that I was making up excuses not to go to school. I told her the truth. The bullies eventually stopped terrorising me for the remainder of my middle school years.
Bullying is never acceptable. It is not “okay.” It is not “cool.” No one deserves to be bullied nor do they have the right to bully anyone regardless of age, race, and/or gender.
My husband said that kids are resilient; that they move on easily after a fight with another kid. However, some kids carry the scars of the past until their adult years. Some deal with the ugly effects of bullying the hard way most especially when the wounds of yesterday have marred something permanent within the depths of their soul. (The saying: Sticks and stones may break your bones is just so passe!) Fortunately, in my case, I didn’t turn out to be some trigger-happy freak when it comes to inflicting physical pain on my own children. Instead, I focused on improving myself as a parent and individual, learned to embrace my flaws that I have no control over, and be comfortable in my own skin.
Then again, people cope differently…
Bullying can lead to
Why are there bullies?
Some say that when coming from a family where smacking was abounded in order to enforce discipline, you would turn into a bully. Not true, at least, in my case. I was smacked when I did something really naughty but I turned out just fine, not that I was a big fan of it or anything 🙂
Some say that you can teach discipline without raising your hand to a child, which has also been proven to be quite effective.
Some parents use the “method” of treating their kids – nay, toddlers – like equal adults and letting them make their own decisions and expect them to act like disciplined individuals (sorry Tom and Suri.)
I do understand that it is none of our of business how other parents raise their children, and this doesn’t exclude their lack of discipline. However, our general responsibility as parents is to ensure that we are raising humble, civilised, and kind-hearted human beings who can mingle harmoniously with the world.
Bullying occurs everywhere – in every society and in every community. I have researched for ways on how to deal with misbehaving children (as well as their parents) in subtle ways and here’s what I found:
1.- When bullying happens at home. Enforce your own house rules and stand firm when it comes to reinforcing them.
2.- When bullying happens at the playground or in a public area. Redirect. When a child begins to misbehave, use the power of redirection – which is referred to as shifting a negative behaviour into a positive one.
3.- When bullying happens at school. Studies show that 25% of schools report that bullying among children occurs on a weekly or daily basis. It usually takes place in the locker room area, on the school bus, or at the cafeteria.
4.- When your child is being bullied online. The Internet is a vast ocean of information that many people easily have access to, including children. Parents need to be their kids’ pillars of strength whenever they find themselves in a situation that threatens their well-being. Here’s what parents can do:
5.- But how do I deal with negative reactions from other parents?
Handle criticisms and anger from co-parents with grace. You may be the calmest and diplomatic parent there is, but there will be a time when you encounter a non-disciplinarian who might find it offensive that you redirected their misbehaving child’s behaviour.
Yes, we should allow our kids to be kids but we should also let them know that there are certain boundaries that they cannot cross.
We have to teach our children that it’s not okay to be mean to someone just so they can have it their way.
All of us may have different parenting styles, but instilling in our children the values of kindness and sharing goes a long way. After all, we’re the ones who’d be putting up with them in the years to come 🙂
I’d like to hear about your disciplining styles. What has worked and what hasn’t? How do you deal with the “thumbs down” from other parents? Let us know in the comments section below!
Til the next post!
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