It's never fun for parent to admit their child may be a jerk, but denying it only worsens the problem. Luckily, you still have time before your child becomes an adult jerk, so take steps to help your loved one become a better person. Start by checking for these nine signs that you're raising a jerk.
Thinks bullying is funny
If your child laughs at a mean prank that was pulled on a classmate, or a cruel string of comments on a social media post, it's a red flag. "Kids will be kids" is not an excuse, and bullying tends to escalate, so don't let your child's laughter lead to an altercation - or worse. You can keep an eye on your child's online activity with a free app, and then step in as soon as you spot bullying.
Shows insensitivity to others' pain
Along the same lines, when others are hurting, it's normal for those around them to care. If your child sees someone crying and walks the other way, or notices someone being hurt and chooses to join in, that's a bad sign.
Dismisses anything new
New foods, new peers, new ideas - they're a part of life and, although children may be nervous or skeptical, they should not dismiss anything out of hand. If your child has been unwelcoming to the new student at school, that is an indication of closing doors to positive experiences, and your child is showing an unlikable side.
Complains a lot
Complaining may be common, but that doesn't make it OK. Excessive complaining is disrespectful. If your child complains about dinner, it's impolite toward the person who prepared it. If your child complains about having to share the computer with siblings, it shows contempt for others who need to use it. If your child's complaints are the background music of your life, it's a problem that needs your attention.
Cannot live without technology
Children who cannot go without video games, smartphones or social media check-ins are not enjoyable company. They should be taught that the world of screens is a fraction of their world and, if they cannot tune into the people and places around them, they are not giving the attention those people and places deserve. Keep in touch with how much time they spend online, and make your own curfews and regulations, with a free app from WebSafety.
If teachers bring up your child's inability to get along in class, or your child talks back to you, it's time to teach that rules were made to be followed. Questioning ideas that are taken for granted is healthy; ignoring the wisdom of experience is not.
Everyone makes mistakes - that's a given. However, not everyone apologizes. If your child has an inability to own up to errors and make the necessary reparations, your child needs an attitude adjustment.
Plans change, and part of maturing is learning to deal with that change. If your child throws a temper tantrum because a cold day prevents you from going to the park, or a friend cannot play, then your child needs some practice being flexible.
Has jerks for friends
If you don't like any of your child's friends, consider that they could be peas in a pod. Other parents may feel the same about your child, and it's time to consider that the group of friends isn't the issue - your child may be a poor influence, as well.
A good way to watch for signs of your child being a jerk when you're not looking is to track online activity. WebSafety is a child-monitoring app that lets you see what your child is up to, so you can intervene before things get out of hand. WebSafety can show parents signs of cyberbullying, vulgar or derogatory language or mean conversations that take place on their child's phone or tablet. Visit WebSafety's Kickstarter page to learn more.