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Parenting Skills - Turning Your School Bully into a Child with Character

By Jean Tracy, MSS

Is your child attracted to TV clips of kids gone wild, violent movies, and video games? Is your child bullying other kids and loving it? Why not turn your school bully into a child with character?

If you're worried about your child's aggressive behavior, stop the worry. Start problem solving. You weren't born knowing how to deal with bullies. You were born with an intellect and so was your child. Using both intellects will help you help your child.

3 parental control tips for dealing with bullies:

  • Turn off the violent video games.
  • Turn off violent cartoons and programs.
  • Turn on your computer's parental controls.
Stop violent images from encouraging your child to think aggressively. You'll be protecting your child from the harmful pictures he likes to imitate.

Get your aggressive child to be a thinker instead of bully:

Consider this true story. Joey's mother worried about his being a bully. One day his mother asked him,
"What happens to bullies at school?"
"They have to put their heads on their desks or go to the principal," he replied.
"Have you ever had to do either one?" she asked.
"No," he answered. "It's just not worth it."

To help your child become a thinker like Joey, start when he's young. Be consistent with discipline and discuss childhood dilemmas that teach him to think and build character too.

A sample dilemma to discuss with your school bully:

If two of your friends are punching a younger kid for laughing at them, would you punch him too? Why? Why not?

3 parenting questions to ask while discussing dilemmas:

  • If every kid in your class bullied you, would you like school? Why? Why not?
  • If all your classmates were bullies, how much would you learn?
  • If being a tough guy was all you learned, how might your life turn out?

Training your child's intellect to understand the results of his aggressive behavior is not that difficult. Parental control doesn't mean being ruthless. Dilemma discussions can help you and your child use reason instead.

Effective parenting skills for discussing dilemmas:

  • Listen to your child's reasoning.
  • Avoid jumping in with criticism.
  • Get your child to think by asking more questions.
  • Help your child see the victim's side.
  • Privately ask yourself, "What is the best way to help my child?"

What your child tells you is important. Take that information and answer the last question. Let your intellect be your guide. You'll be helping your school bully turn into a thoughtful child and you'll be building character too.

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