As a parent, it can be mortifying to know that your child is a bully who enjoys inflicting physical and/or emotional distress on other children. But, if so, what would you do?
By Mudita Gupta
The Urban Dictionary defines reverse bullying as ‘bullying someone for bullying someone else’. While reverse bullying has existed for long, increasing awareness about bullying is also bringing this issue into focus. But, irrespective of whether a child is a victim of bullying or a bully, being involved with bullying leaves scars on the child’s psyche.
So, if your child is involved in reverse bullying, it’s time for you to point out to your child that it is not the same as standing up or fighting for justice.
Usually, a child who has been bullied in the past, one who did not receive enough parental support, or a child who lacks empathy tends to take to bullying. But, how would you know that your child has turned into a bully?
If your child's peers, their parents or his class teacher complain of your child having an overbearing attitude, you should become alert. Such feedback tell you how his personality is evolving and whether he is imbibing the values taught at home.
If you notice your child talking negatively about other children, this could be an indication of unwarranted hostility and lack of sensitivity. This is a common trait among bullies.
Becoming aggressive and violent while interacting with others is also a habit displayed by bullies, though it isn’t a reliable clue.
Various studies conducted by the National Centre for Disease Control and National Centre for Educational Statistics suggest that bullying makes it difficult for a child to adjust in school, and causes anxiety and depression among other negative effects. Therefore, it becomes imperative to address the issue of bullying, both for the sake of the victim and the bully too.
Reverse bullying is just as bad as bullying. As a parent, take up the responsibility of ensuring that your child doesn’t fall prey to this habit or correct her behaviour if she is indulging in reverse bullying.
Mudita Gupta, who is a part of Safecity’s Writer’s Movement, strongly believes in the idea of spiritual happiness. She heads a college-based live project on rural women entrepreneurship.
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