Many parents have a constant watchful eye for potential bullies who could target their children, but at times they forget to watch for the bullies who live within the walls of their homes.
In fact, many people disregard their child's bullying behavior because they do not want to be viewed as a failed parent. Any parent has a difficult time admitting that their child has acted inappropriately because they believe it falls on their shoulders, which is not the only circumstance.
Here are eight signs that your child may be bullying others:
1. Underlying behavior issues
If your child has a natural tendency to anger quickly, make impulsive decisions and becomes easily frustrated, those three behaviors can indicate hidden bullying. Children who grow easily frustrated or pick a fight with others often have a lack of empathy toward other people or even animals. With that being said, they have no personal regard for the feelings of others and are prone to making rude or condescending remarks toward their peers or family members.
2. Acting out at school
If you are constantly getting messages from your child's supervisor or teacher about constant fighting or aggression, there is a clear sign there are some behavioral issues going on in your child. School is also difficult because your child is away from home, and therefore may be behaving differently while they are not under your watchful eye all hours of the day.
3. Aggressive friends
How do your child's friends act when they are around? Are they aggressive toward others? Do they "playfully" belittle your child when they do something they find wrong? The people you surround yourself with definitely have an influence on the way you act regardless if you are an adult or a child. Be aware of how your child acts around his or her friends and how his or her friends treat others.
4. Suffering relationships
Do you and your child have a suffering relationship? Do you find it hard to connect to one another? If you have done all you can to try and understand your child and most of your conversations end in arguments or frustration, your child may have a lack of empathy or other behavioral issues.
5. Refusing to take the blame
If your child cannot own up to his or her mistakes or constantly places the blame for problems on another's shoulders, or blames the teacher for a bad grade, your child may have a problem with pride. Bullies often see others as inferior to themselves and refuse to sink to their level.
6. Obsession with popularity
This one mostly revolves around girls, but boys can sometimes be involved in popularity contests as well. If your child has a clique of friends and is highly exclusive to other peers or refers to them with names such as "nerds" or "losers," your child and friends could have a reputation as the "mean girl" at school.
7. Hiding their text messages and social media posts
Teens and children keep anything and everything about their social life on their cellphones and computers. If your child has his or her own cellphone or a laptop in his or her room, you may want to think about monitoring their posts online and their interactions with their friends. Cyberbullying has surpassed traditional bullying in the last few years alone. According to cyberbullying statistics from the i-SAFE foundation, over 25 percent of adolescents have been bullied repeatedly through the means of cell phones or through social media.
In order to prevent bullying, be aware of parenting apps, like WebSafety, that allow you to monitor your child's text messages, social media and internet activity through your mobile device. WebSafety is going above and beyond to put a halt in cyberbullying and make your life as a parent easier and more secure.
Be aware of your child's behavior. If he or she shows signs of bullying, don't give up hope or blame yourself. Children and teens can be heavily influenced by the media and by their peers every day. It is never too late to send them in the right and respectful direction.