My Kid Was An Online Bully
I got that phone call that every parent thinks will never happen. It was my daughter’s teacher calling to tell me that my daughter was bullying other little girls and that I needed to come to school right away. I thought the teacher must be wrong. My little girl an online bully? That couldn’t be the case. We have always taught her to treat others the way she wants to be treated. I was in shock and feeling defensive. This is definitely because of the phenomenon of social media.
But they weren’t wrong. My daughter was being a bully to two other little girls. She called them names, sent them horrible texts, and tried to get all the other little girls not to play with them. I was humiliated and embarrassed. But I knew that I had to correct this problem right away so that it wouldn’t continue. The school suggested we take my daughter to a counselor. The counselor gave us some great advice on what to do if your child is a bully and I’m going to share it with you so that if your child turns into a bully you’ll know what to do:
Don’t Get Defensive
If your child is a bully it’s natural to get defensive and want to prove the school, other parents or their teachers wrong. But you need to accept that any child can become a bully. Even a child that has a good stable home environment and is respectful and kind at home can be a bully at school or online. You need to face it and not try to deny it.
Figure Out The Cause
Children become bullies because they get something out of it. You need to find out why your child is bullying others. Is your child trying to bully others so that they can stay popular? Or is there another reason? A counselor that specializes in children’s mental health is a good resource to use to find out why your child is bullying and address it.
Don’t Shame Your Child
My first instinct when I accepted that my child was a bully was to get angry and tell her that I couldn’t believe she would act like that. But the counselor told me to be careful not to shame my child about her actions because it could hurt her mental health. She said to deal with the bullying the way we would deal with any other behavioral problem – address it in a rational way that would let her know it was unacceptable without shaming her or humiliating her about it.
Work With The School
Your child is at school all day and that’s where most of the bullying takes place. So you need to be open to working with the school on a plan that sets up consequences for bullying behavior. Remember that the school is your partner and ally in this process and accept their help. Of course when your daughter is home, it’s your job to prevent her from being an online bully. Monitor her social media networks and take them away if necessary.