When you hear that a young child was a victim of bullying, does your heart go out to that child? Or, perhaps you or a member of your family has been directly affected by a bully. What if your child is the bully intimidating others? Are you the father of a bully? As the father, you may be thinking that your child could never be a bully. You may wonder, is there anything you could have done to prevent your son or daughter from becoming the ugly bully?
I’m the father of a bully!
In all reality, most kids will be a bully at times. Bullying becomes serious when it is a pattern of aggressive behavior. As a father and role model to your son or daughter, here are some common factors that may increase the chances of your child becoming a bully:
- Using negative name-calling toward certain ethnic groups or anyone different than them
- Discipline through hitting and yelling
- Not setting up sibling boundaries
- Getting angry with your children, feeling that they are doing things to bother the parent
Fathers should always be aware of negative traits developing in their children such as lack of empathy toward others, inability to lose at games, and having an over-inflated view of themselves. Perfection is not the goal. However, fathers (as well as mothers) should stay alert to any negative thinking or behavior that becomes a pattern in their child that is impacting the child or others around them.
Fathers can be a positive reinforcement!
Here are a few suggestions for fathers, to prevent becoming the father of a bully:
- Establish good communication with children
- Set the development of positive personality traits as a goal for the family
- Demonstrate good problem-solving skills that do not involve physical force or manipulation of others
- Be an example of good self-control. Do you get angry quickly? Learn to be slow to anger. A calm temperament can go a long way in helping your child control their own emotions.
- Be careful not to poke fun of others due to their physical appearance, ethnic background, or intellectual capabilities.
- Teach kids that all people are valuable and should be respected despite their differences
- Teach children to look for the good in people
- Help children to realize that they have limits and imperfections, and that’s okay
- Teach children that life includes compromise at times
Don’t get discouraged while working with your child. Results from all your hard work may take some time to take root. In addition, it should be noted that one out of five bullies suffer some other type of emotional, developmental, or behavioral problem. In these cases it may be necessary to seek professional assistance. You can also check out these Expert Bullying Prevention Tips.
Children learn by imitating those around them, especially those closest to them. From infancy on, a father has the gifted opportunity to help shape a loving and respectful person. Don’t be the father of a bully. Give your children one of the greatest gifts in life, a love for people. If you do that, you will significantly reduce the chances that your child is the bully.
Updated December 2013 by Kimberly