By Anne Collier
“Not my child,” many parents would say. Of course “no parent wants to admit their kid is a bully,” educator and child development expert Annie Fox writes. But if you have even an inkling your child might be cyberbullying others, you have an opportunity not only to lessen other children’s emotional pain and improve social conditions at school but also to help your child offload anti-social behavior and maybe even have a happier life. Please go to Fox’s article to read the signs – they’re very helpful. Once you do talk with your kids about their social experiences – and let them know that degrading others degrades them too – I think you’ll have an idea how to proceed. For example, if you talk about what behaviors they like and don’t like among their friends, you can help them think through what it’s like to be good friends themselves. But here’s more on what to do, straight from the source:
What to do if you see those signs
First it’s important to point out that there’s a difference between these two statements: “My kid’s behavior is sometimes/often aggressive, controlling and insensitive to the feelings of others” and “My kid’s a bully,” says author/educator Annie Fox in Part 2 of “My child? A bully?!!” She’s not into labels, she says, because, when you label a child you add a mantra to that kid’s internal monologue. Tell … them they’re [bad or] ‘worthless’ and their young psyches start agreeing…. You also provide them with excuses to continue misbehaving. ‘I can’t help it. I’m just a bad kid’.” But, Tip No. 1, it’s also important to acknowledge the truth of bad, unacceptable behavior and don’t put off putting it on the record (e.g., in family or parent-child discussion) and delivering consequences without waffling or backing down. There are more great tips, and Fox says it much better than I can, so please check out this important advice for full family benefit.
* Dr. Robyn Silverman’s tips on what to do when your daughters not one of the “A List,” “Alpha Females,” or “Mean Girls”
* “Parenting & the digital drama overload”
* “Clicks & cliques: Really meaty advice for parents on cyberbullying”