Washington: Sally Kuykendall, assistant professor of health services at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, has offered some tips on what parents should do if they find out their child is a bully.
“Take a deep breath and don’t panic. Resist the temptation to respond defensively with ‘not my child.’ Understand that your child may be testing behaviors,” said Kuykendall.
“Parents need to consider their child’s social skills and whether or not they’re mimicking violence they’ve been exposed to in the media, at home or in the community,” she suggested further.
Professor also highlighted the need for parents to engage in conversation with their child and to keep that conversation going.
“Confront excuses. Don’t allow them to tell you they were ‘just joking.’ Set clear and consistent limits. Let your child know what is socially acceptable behavior. Don’t let your child blame the victim or rationalize the attacks,” she warned.
Some bullies, Kuykendall explains, are actually victims who have reacted to being bullied with counter-aggression. She refers to these individuals as provocative victims.
Kuykendall also informed that, “if you think that your child is the provocative victim, you must get involved. Provocative victims are at higher risk for depression, school threats and drug use. Try to remove your child from the situation so that he or she is not put in a position where control is lost and attacks are imminent. Identify a caring adult who will keep an eye out and stop the behavior when it occurs.”
After all the information, she stressed to the need to do the regular follow up.