In my years as a martial arts instructor and a mother of three, I have come across a lot of bullies. I know how hard it is for parents to believe their child could be a bully but it’s important not to be in denial should this be the case.
Is it possible that your child is a bully? How would you know? Aside from regular phone calls from school, there are many signs you should look for to see if you have a bully on your hands.
Warning signs that your child may be a bully include:
- Hot tempered and impulsive behavior and gets easily frustrated
- Aggression toward adults, including teachers
- They show little sympathy toward others who are bullied
- Obsession with popularity
- Testing limits or breaking rules
- A need to control and dominate others
- Their friends seem afraid of them
It’s important to always be aware of what your children are doing. Know whom they are speaking to and spending time with. Be aware of their social media interactions. Be their friend on Facebook (the only time you should be their friend) and follow them on Twitter. Not only can you make sure they aren’t posting things like "I hate my teacher" you can also see how they are interacting with others and hopefully, seeing what nice, well-behaved children you are raising.
Keep in mind that you as parents play a key role in whether or not your child becomes a bully. A good relationship with your child is, as always, the most important aspect of your child’s well-being and development.
I shouldn’t have to say this but I will – if you suspect your child may be a bully, seek professional help immediately. It’s for their own good as well as the good of others.
Lori Miley is the Program Director and an Instructor at Jim Smith Karate in Yorktown Heights.