Bullies can Change. If your child has been identified as a Bully...don't despair. It does not mean you are a bad parent or your child is a bad kid. And there is hope !! There are many ways to help.
Whether you believe the accusations against your child are true or not perhaps understanding more about Bullies will help.
If you get a call advising your child is the leader in an incident;
You recognize the warning signs of your child being a bully
Please do not make excuses or minimize the situation. Don’t blame the kid who was bullied or yourself. You have done the best you could with what you knew. You may feel any number of emotions which you need to deal with first. Understanding your reaction will prevent it from becoming a mistake.
Beware of your parenting instincts that have you rising to defend your child before you have all the facts.
Todays bullying seems much more invasive than when I was a kid. The many different types of Bullying combined with the varying types of Bullies who can be any shape, size or background can seem overwhelming for us parents to understand.
The important thing to realize is under the right circumstances any child could be a bully. However, the following are traits to watch for:
-they generally have some advantage over the other child...this can mean they have more money, more influence with friends (charisma), they are smarter, or physically bigger.
-they generally are trying to meet their own needs to get something they don't have, feel important, feel connection or meet any of the basic needs we all have
- Children with a high sense of self esteem may do this out of a sense of entitlement. They have no tolerance for differences and believe they are better than their chosen target.
-Insensitivity to violence enjoying violent video games or movies for the sake of the violence.
-Kids generally have no sense of empathy. They cannot understand how their actions are hurting someone else.
-Intolerant. They do not like "different" and are insulted by people "not like them"
-kids who have been bullied themselves by other kids or from inside their family (older sibling or even a parent)
The Biggest bully in the room can be the charismatic leader of the group who is smart enough to wrap adults around there finger. He may be otherwise completely normal. He may even be popular.
Consider the Queen Bee. Most cliques have one. She decides who joins in and who gets excluded. If you do something she deems as insulting (which might be as simple as wearing a color she does not like) You could find yourself completely isolated from all social events.
The point is Bullies come in all shapes and sizes. If your child is meeting needs through bullying. He/She needs help.
As a parent it is our job to support and guide them through the process of developing the characteristics like empathy and tolerance as well as how to meet their needs without bullying.