10 Ways To Help A Bully Not Hurt Others

Uncategorized Mar 03, 2021

Would you put your child in a bubble if you could? It’s something all parents have thought of at one point or another, right?

Honestly, I’m not one of those parents who would put their kids in a bubble. I understand the need for them to go through some life lessons, but to a certain point. 

One of the things that I have focused on is showing kids empathy because as we have all witnesses, people without empathy are more likely to intentionally hurt others. 

Then, there’s the importance of learning to deal with one’s own emotions. When children do not know how to release what they’re feeling, eventually those emotions come out in certain ways. 

Sometimes pain and frustration come out in the form of anger. When this happens to children, even they don’t often understand why they’re feeling.

At times, their emotions are taken out in the form of anger, mischief, or bullying. No parent wants to find out that their kid is the one causing others so much pain.

If you google the word “bully”, you’re going to find tons of results about how to help the victim, but not an equal amount of information about the bully.

Keep in mind that children who bully are someone’s child. Parents who find out that their child is a bully to others might not always know how to handle the situation or know how to help their child without further aggravating the situation or their mental state of mind.

There are many reasons why kids bully others. Sometimes, they don’t know that what they’re doing is bullying. That might happen because they might be experiencing bullying at school, among friends at a place of worship, or even at home.

Other kids don’t realize that they’re bullying because they justify their actions based on certain strong beliefs about their victims. 

They might also see their actions of bullying as harmless teasing especially when they aren’t taught what bullying is and the many ways it can look like.

Then there are those who have emotional or mental health challenges that require professional help.

So, I’ve done a bit of research about things that parents can do to help their children if they are bullying others.

  1. Stay calm. Don’t get mad or start yelling at them because the situation will only become bigger. Your child will automatically shut down if he/she sees you angry, therefore, your talk will end before it begins.
  2. Listen carefully to your child’s side of the story. Pay attention to who is involved and what is prompting your child to bully. Sometimes kids are trying to impress their friends or feel pressured to bully others in order to not become the targets.
  3. Assess their mental state of mind. Mental or physical disability, also called differences may cause a child to become the bully as a way to cope with their challenge. Extreme stress, anger, and frustration might be a cause of it. Therefore, getting professional help is recommended for certain levels of severity. 
  4. Explain how bullying affects people’s lives. When a child is able to understand how their actions affect others, they’re more likely to want to stop bullying. Try to explain it to them by imagining they are the ones being bullied. Ask them how they would feel if the situation were happening to them. Use personal stories if you can. The best way to help them is to show them empathy for others.
  5. Suggest making changes. Whether it’s the language they use, the television shows, the music they listen to, or even the friends they hang out with, if you notice that those are the causes of their actions, change it.
  6. Explain clear rules and corrective actions. If a child doesn’t know what is good or bad and what is acceptable or not, they will never strive to hit a standard. Make sure you are clear and that the corrective action fits the violation. You don’t want to be excessive with corrective actions, otherwise, your child will feel attacked and will retaliate.
  7. Positive reinforcement. Every time a child does something unacceptable, remind them how good they are by pointing out the positive things that they do. I follow the 1:3 rule. For every bad action, I point out three good ones (sometimes more) to remind them that they have it in them to be good citizens. This is something I recommend for all children regardless if they bully others or not. It’s just great practice to build up confidence in children.
  8. Set the example. Sometimes we are the ones teaching bad habits without realizing it. If you speak with sarcasm or a defensive tone, then your children will copy what you do. It’s hard to admit when we are the ones role modeling negative actions or habits. However, recognizing our actions and correcting them is what makes you a loving caring parent. That’s why your kids will love you no matter what.
  9. Debunk stereotypes. Have conversations about stereotypes you hear on television, radio, in lyrics, jokes, and ads. Anywhere you can recognize a stereotype-debunk it. Explain to your child why certain stereotypes are false because if a child grows up believing that stereotypes are true, they’ll learn to judge others and even become prejudice towards others.
  10. Tell your child you love him/her. Reassure them that they will improve and that you will be there for them no matter what.

I know that dealing with challenging children can be very difficult. I often wonder if I’m showing them negative examples of communication or human interaction. But, I’d like to think that I’m doing well so far because they don’t show signs of belong bullied. Every parent does their best and I’m sure that we all might be doing some things wrong because after all, we’re figuring it out as we go. And, so are kids.

So, if your child is a bully, don’t lose hope. Show them love, empathy, and healthy communication skills especially when dealing with strong emotions. If you need to get professional help, get it without any shame!

The main goal here is to help children stop bullying because when they do, they hurt themselves just as much as the people they’re hurting. Sometimes even more.

If you have tips you’d want to share about how to help kids who bully, share them in the comments below. Your tips might help parents and children who really need them.

-Dali

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