With the high percentage of bullying now present in today’s society, wouldn’t it be great if there were a quiz a parent could take to determine whether their child is a bully? As it turns out, there is. About.com has a 15 question test in the parenting teens category that can help diagnose bullying behavior.
This test isn’t hard science but can give a parent a general idea on whether or not their child has behavior patterns common to bullying. Many parents tend to bury their heads in the sand and pretend the problem doesn’t exist with their child. Some parents even believe bullying is simply a part of the process of becoming an adult.
*Does your child regularly disobey you?
*Does your child have a bad temper or is he/she ‘hot-headed’?
*Does your child’s teachers complain of disruptions in class caused by your child?
*Does your child enjoy violent video games, music or movies?
*Does your child show a ‘lack of warmth’ towards his siblings or you?
*Is your child easily frustrated?
*Has your child skipped school?
*Is the authority figure in your child’s life overly permissive or extremely harsh?
*Is your child left alone often?
*Has your child been injured in a fight?
*Does your child often disagree and argue with you?
*Has your child been sent home from school for fighting?
*Has your child ever stolen property or money from you or someone else?
*Has your child ever destroyed property belonging to you or someone else?
*Does your child act out violent scenes from movies or video games?
According to a study taken in 2010, there were approximately 2.1 million school bullies in the U.S.
There are several steps a parent can take upon finding out their child has an above average chance of being a bully, based on these 15 questions. One thing is to make it clear to the child that bullying is serious and won’t be tolerated. There must be consistent rules in your family regarding behavior. Often a parent will allow a child to get away with a disruptive behavior on one occasion, while at other times punishing the child for the exact same behavior.
It’s also important to work together with teachers and counselors to counteract any bad behavior your child has gotten away with until now. Sometimes it’s necessary to bring a mental health professional into the picture. Remember even though your child is a bully, you child may also be a victim of bullying.
Praise you child for any talents the child may have. Try and use positive reinforcement as much as positive so your child grows up with a good self-image. Many kids who have been kicked around emotionally resort to bullying. Encourage participation in a sport or safe activity to further build self-esteem.
Most important of all is to spend time with your child. Know who his/her friends are. Monitor activities both at home or in public. The parent of a young child or teen should never have to wonder where their child is or what their child is doing at any given time.
While it may be hard setting ground rules and changing behavior patterns, things will be a lot tougher if bullying isn’t stopped before your child gets hurt, or the behavior escalates into a crime.
One of the toughest decisions parents face is admitting they have a child bully. Hopefully, more parents will come forward and seek help, especially after parents of recent school shooters brought the subject of bullying into the spotlight by explaining how their child was either harassed by bullies, or a bully himself.
Bullying is one subject you must confront before your child becomes another statistic. In a study done by Stopbullying.gov, it was learned 12 out of 15 school shooters in the 1990’s were the victim of bullying. Statistics like these put your child in real danger, should a mentally unbalanced fellow student decide to get even with those who were bullying him.
Bullying is serious, and parents need to recognize the symptoms and seek professional help if necessary. The longer a parent waits to address this problem, the harder it will be to change behavior patterns.