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Let’s ask a question: if your child bullies other children, are you really OK with this? I am asking this question because in The Netherlands we focus on bullying this week. In Dutch this week is called Week tegen pesten. In English, it means as much as Week against bullying.

Bullying has no universal definition. Still, we all know what it means. There are many different translations in several languages for this word. This word gives conversations a tremendous impact. Just the same echo as the bullying itself. I am using this word because bullying does provide an echo. The effects can still be visible for many years.

We all heard of the examples of bullying and what it can lead to. Some children who are subject to bullying decide to take drastic measures. I am reaching out to those parents whose children who use physical or verbal means to bully others. I know you’re out there. You might be even reading these blogs of The Diligent Father or the Dutch >De Goede Huisvader.

You might not agree with me. Bullying is something normal for you and we make it bigger than it should be. In the end, it will all turn out fine. Children do this and it’s normal. But what if your child is the one who has to go through these times of physical or verbal abuse? Would you still think the same?

Scientists have proven that bullying has a great impact. The negative effects that come from this all are intense. Are you still convinced that it’s not so bad?

Are you that parent of a child that bullies others. Running away or denying it isn’t an option. It doesn’t become smaller or less important. Ignoring it will not make it better.

When your child is bullied this will hurt. I am not only referring to the physical abuse. Remember: words can cause pain too. When your child is bullied, you can see a light fading. Every child is able to glow.

If your child is bullied, you want to be heard. You don’t need the excuses, the way people talk about this as something small. This is quite rude and it does happen. There are also those who consider this to be a type of taking measures into their own hands. Assertiveness has nothing to do with bullying.

One thing you don’t want to see is the way others try to stop the bullying. Not by removing the victims from a group for their own “safety.” This feels like a punishment and it makes those who bully (and step over a line of good and bad) feel even greater. Those who bully don’t deserve it to consider themselves as winners.

You are not a bad parent if you don’t know about this bullying. Sometimes the victims of bullying have difficulties speaking about this. They might be forced to remain quiet. Not knowing about the way your child treats others doesn’t make you a bad parent necessarily. It is not good though to use phrases as “It’s their own fault” or “This isn’t that big.” It’s important to keep looking out for signs that your child does these things and acting on it. If you don’t, well… let’s just say it’s not good. And that’s a mild way to describe it.

Of course, as a parent, you don’t want your child to be associated with something negative as bullying. Your child (or children) is (or are) “your everything.” You might even define this as something that is common. Something that is needed to be done to show who’s dominant and who’s not. Just realize that bullying has this echo and it takes a long time to heal what has become broken – if there is any possibility to heal. Even words have this impact. Even words.

Your child can do this too. Maybe it’s because it’s fun for them to do what other children do. Maybe it’s because they don’t want to become victims themselves. There are many reasons why children do this. There is also one that is so impossible to think about. Yet, it is possible. It is possible that your child will get the satisfaction from this behaviour. That is something that’s hard to understand as a parent. You want to focus on those specialities that define your child. Not this BS.

I still have to meet (or perhaps not) the first parent who thinks it’s OK to physically or verbally abuse other children. I have met other parents who believe their children should strike back. Use violence as an answer to violence. This doesn’t solve anything. Really, it doesn’t. This doesn’t mean your child has to undergo these moments of violence. No. What it does mean: a rational solution has to be offered. A way out of this. Let’s make one thing clear: violence is never an option. Not for those who are the bullies or their victims.

As parents, I know what it’s like, we don’t want to see the negativity. It’s hard to realize. Sometimes it is just like that. Ask yourself the right question:

Are you that parent who is OK with bullying?

Really?!

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