By Nico Strydom
No parent wishes to hear that their child is a bully, but should this be the case, it is more important to try and establish what led to the behaviour.
Most children will at one stage or another tease other children or even lose their temper, but bullying is more than that. Bullying includes among others to tease other children repeatedly, treat them badly or call them names, exclude them, hit or shove them or even taking their belongings.
Parents will usually hear from other parents, a teacher or one of their other children that their child is a bully. According to experts, it is most important to remain calm and establish precisely what happened and when. It is essential that your child tell you him/herself whey he might possible be accused of being a bully and what behaviour gave rise to this.
It is extremely important to teach your child/ren from an early age that bullying is not acceptable. Explain to your child what bullying entails and if he or she was guilty of bullying behaviour, it could help to place him or her in the victim’s shoes by having him or her imagine how he or she would feel if they were at the receiving end. Make sure your child understands what the consequences of bullying could be.
As a parent you should also think of reasons which could have led to your child being a bully. Ask yourself questions such as whether your child is not perhaps also being bullied, or perhaps be part of bullying to prevent him or her from being bullied, whether your child is experiencing forms of bullying at home (even by way of the television) and whether your child might be having other emotional problems that led to this.
The problems could be anything from a lack of acknowledgement or attention or a battle to obtain something your child wants, or a lack of control.
When your child does confess that he or she is a bully, it is essential to rectify the specific behaviour. This could among others entail that your child apologises to his or her victim/s.
It is very important to as parents set your children the example. If, however, the problem gets out of hand, the help of professionals could be called in.
Childline SA: http://www.childlinesa.org.za/children/for-children/issues-affecting-you/bullying/
Verywell Family: https://www.verywellfamily.com/ways-discipline-child-for-bullying-others-460520
Child Mind Institute: https://childmind.org/article/what-to-do-if-your-child-is-bullying/
Raising Children: https://raisingchildren.net.au/preschoolers/behaviour/bullying/your-child-bullying
PBS Kids: https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/what-to-do-when-your-child-is-a-bully