In a long term research study of 400 “tweens” in
None of us knows what another person may be going through in life. It is important for us to teach our children that bullies often act out towards others because they are insecure themselves. Most bullying is in the form of teasing or making fun of someone to hurt their feelings. Responding in a positive way towards a bully takes away their power.
As parents it is important to remember that our own children are looking for acceptance from you. Many of us have witnessed on the soccer field a parent who is out of control—belittling their child when they’ve missed a kick, perhaps calling them names, swearing at them or making fun of them. This does nothing to build their confidence! On the other hand, we all know parents who think their children are perfect and can do no wrong. These are just a couple of the scenarios that can help make a child become a bully or just plain obnoxious. For those who are belittled, they try to build themselves up by putting others down. For those who are perfect, looking down on others reinforces their belief that they truly are better than everyone else.
Teach your children somewhere in between those two examples. Let them know they are loved and accepted no matter what while holding them responsible for their treatment of others. Lead by example. Your children are watching how you handle things and are listening to your words, learning how to react and seeing what is perceived to be acceptable behavior. We sometimes have to catch ourselves. Let them see that when life is unfair that it’s not the end of the world…that it is a temporary setback and that tomorrow is another day.
We all like feeling good about ourselves. Performing acts of kindness lifts our own feeling of happiness and satisfaction. Being the recipient of an act of kindness does the same thing as well! The old adage of attracting more flies with honey than with vinegar still rings true. Make the world a better place and spread kindness in 2014.