Am I The Reason My Child Is A Bully?
Modelling is the best form of learning, and our children are modelling our actions consistently.
Have you ever been at a sports game, where the parents are yelling out "Kill them", and then you witness the child screaming the same abuse?
We are often the products of our parents. What kind of adults will our children become due to being with us!
Children idolise their parents and family, and their learned behaviours often come from the home.
I'm not saying we need to be perfect around our kids. Life is not perfect, and we slip up, but we do need to watch our behaviour near our children.
How bad would you feel if you got called into your daughter or son's school for them to get in trouble for saying a racist comment and it was only the specific comment they had heard you say days before?
They have given some important questions to ask ourselves, because often our behaviour, whether conscious or unconscious can turn our children into bullies.
1. Does your child overhear you criticising others, picking on other people's faults? Backstabbing and adding your opinions of what is going on in other people's life, even if it is no business of your own?
2. Is your child able to witness arguing in your household or within your outer friends and family? Are they around tension frequently?
3. Do you allow your child to be around when people criticise you? Has your child seen people bully you?
4. Are you racist or sexist in front of your child? Do they see you frequently curse people while driving? Have they watched you argue with strangers over silly insignificant things?
5. Do you have a friend of family member that is the bully/ humiliator in their circle? Most families have that one person that we all walk on egg shells around. Have they frequently witnessed how people often bow down to that person, often giving them the upper hand and bowing to their ego and meanness?
6. Do your children see you watching tv and hear you making comments on characters or news items? Do you often comment and remark with mean, nasty or judgmental comments?
7. Do your children mimic your behaviour in many ways, even your negative views?
8. Do your kids see you write things online that are nasty and inappropriate? Are they witnessing your newsfeed to be full of egotistical and offensive words, articles and actions?
9. Do your children see or hear you laughing at someone at the expense of someone else's misfortune?
Sonya and Sacha have raised some great questions for us to ask ourselves. Remember, if we want our children to change, it is often us who need to change.
Our kids are sponges. If they can copy our positive actions, then they will copy our negative traits as well. If there is a member of your family that is not a good role model to your child, you have every right to pull them up and ask them not to speak or act like that in front of your children. Or if you can't do that, have a conversation with your child after the fact. "I just want to let you know Uncle Alex may be my brother but I don't agree with what he said, and I don't think what he is doing or saying is right for you to look at." Please don't just let things go!
Talk about everything with your children! You will be amazed when you listen to them how smart they are and how much they want to communicate with you.
Thank you for reading. Remember, parenting is the hardest career we can have, the most judged, but also the most rewarding. Let's make the most of our days raising our children to become kind and caring adults.