Many think that bullies are only made in hostile, negligent homes. False. A bully can be produced in multiple homes, come from multiple parenting styles, and blossom out of many different types of experiences. Quite frequently, parents are shocked when they find out their child was the aggressor. Do not be naïve when it comes to your children – children are not born bullies; bullying is a learned behavior. Kids need guidance to change their negative behavior and the guide should be a parent in charge.
Dr. Bob Myers, a licensed child and adolescent psychologist for over 30 years and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine lists the red flags parents and guardians need to be aware of:
Increased Aggression: Kids have a harder time controlling and regulating their emotions; often they will stay angry even after confrontations in class are done and they are home.
School Troubles: Grades are a good way to see if they are struggling in school; sometimes a decrease in grades can show that your child is focusing more on school peer relationships than on academic. Additionally, getting in trouble with the teacher or getting sent to the principal’s office is an alarm that something may be going on.
Change in Friends: Take a good hard look at who your child’s primary friends are–this will be a good sign of who your children are. Has your child’s primary group of friends changed recently? What does their group of friends seems like—are they positive or negative?
Belongings: Have you noticed that your child has new things when they come back home? Does your child have more money then you gave them? Bullies are known to take material possessions from others; this would be a tell-tale sign that they may be taking things that don’t belong to them.
Blaming: If you notice your child not taking responsibility for their wrong doing or if they are playing the role of the victim (intentionally for personal gain), they are generally more inclined to be bullies. The more a child values their reputation, the more probable it is for them to have a tendency towards bullying.
Stay aware, stay informed, and stay in charge to make sure your child is not harming others or being harmed by others. As parents it is your job to protect your children and to protect others from your children when they pose a risk.
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