Bullying has morphed into a serious social problem in the United States. Research conducted by social scientists has concluded that anywhere from 25 to 33 percent of all youths have suffered some form of bullying. Such behavior can have a profound impact on the victim’s mental health as they grow older.
There has been much discussion surrounding how victims and their families can react to such behavior. That said, less attention has been focused on how parents of young people labeled bullies can attempt to curtail this potentially destructive action. Bullying can present itself in several forms, such as cyberbullying, name-calling, intimidation and physicality. Adults who suspect their children might be engaged in said conduct may be able to stop said actions by adhering to the following tips:
Immediately Address The Situation
Parents should address their child’s exploits as soon as such behavior becomes apparent. Bullying should never be chalked up to adolescent behavior or “kids just being kids.” Parents must take a proactive stance and stress the belief that such exploits are not acceptable.
That said, merely acknowledging the behavior is not enough. The parents in questions are strongly urged to encourage their children to make a conscientious effort to correct their malfeasant conduct. Such aims might be achieved by having the bullying child call, email, text or write a snail mail letter to their victim apologizing and asking for forgiveness or even organizing an in-person event.
Educate The Child In Question
Once the behavior is acknowledged, parents are then encouraged to educate their children regarding the dangers of continuing said actions. Issues to be stressed could include that bullying is a negative label the youth might be tagged with and that hurting people is likely to have serious consequences for themselves and others as they grow older. It is important to realize that bullying may be easier to curtail in younger children or youths that have not been executing such malfeasance over extended durations.
Try To Identify The Underlying Causes
The parents in question stand a better chance of ensuring their children do not engage in such conduct again by identifying the underlying causes. The genesis of bullying could be related to numerous issues, including association with a new group of friends, influence by a close relative or association who engages in bullying, a preoccupation with violent or intimidating actions, a recent traumatic experience, a significant life change like family relocation or the divorce of their parents or residing in an uncomfortable or toxic environment.
Do Not Allow Anyone To Label Child A Bully
Though the youth in question might be engaging in such conduct, said child’s parents should not allow their offspring to be labeled a bully. When someone is given a label, said moniker is liable to stick. Bullying is no exception.
Seek Professional Counseling
If the parents in question are unable to identify a root cause for their child’s bullying or malfeasant behavior continues despite adherence to the preceding suggestions, therapy with a professional counselor might prove beneficial.