In chapter 2 of Anxiety in Action- Communication in Action, i talk briefly about bullying and it’s most common, yet least talked about form, parental bullying.
Parental bullying is the most common form of bullying, simply because there is no real way for the victim to stop it.. In order for the bullying to stop, the parent has to learn how to become a better parent, adopting skills such as setting limits, implementing consequences and reward systems that promote delayed gratification, all explained in the chapter.
Parental bullying is also very common, because it is EASY. Anything that is easy to do, you are bound to find human beings nearby.. We are programmed to find the easiest way, take it and get to where we need to go without expending undue energy in the process.
Parental bullying is also something that can easily go on, because the parent, the person who is supposed to be the responsible one, is not dealing with the consequences of their bully-type actions, but in fact the child being bullied by them is. The parent essentially sets the child up to be targeted by bullies in the future, because they are not willing to stand up for themselves, since when they do, it is seen as ‘acting out’ by the parent in question.
So how do we educate parents about parental bullying, when most parents are only interested in doing things their own way? When it is their child, not ours, that we are concerned about? Its very difficult, which is another reason parental bullying exists! Its hard to get the parent to identify their actions as bullying AND for them to adopt new methods, when bullying does technically ‘work’, in that it gets the results, but not in the child’s best interests, which seems to have taken the back burner in favour of the parent getting results.
Setting our children up for the future is so important.. It is very easy for any child to get side tracked in the fast paced world we live in today, in 2016 and shooting them in the foot with shoddy parenting is not the answer, regardless if it gets the parents the results they are looking for. People talk about solving bullying, solving cyber-bullying, but when it comes to talking about bullying at home, the topic is often met with silence. My job, is to break that silence and say “Hey, this is going on, lets not turn a blind-eye to it, lets address it.” So there we have it.. The truth is out. Quit bullying your children and learn to parent properly.