If you wonder why I chose positive parenting and gentle discipline, it is because I want my children to grow up in a loving environment that wouldn’t turn them into bullies, as just one of the many reasons.
But why do I care so much and try to educate others? Because my kids will be growing up alongside other kids, who might have come from punishing families that turned them into bullies. I do NOT want my kids to become victims because other parents made very poor choices. That is why I care, and that is exactly why everyone should.
I found this article very helpful in understanding the causes of bullying.
“When a child is bullied, who is at fault? Is it nature or nuture that makes a bully? Given that parental influences play such a powerful role in shaping the behaviour of a child, where does bullying fit in? Is it fair for parents to wipe their hands off the blame by pointing fingers at influences outside of themselves?
“Children bully for a variety of different reasons,” explains Dr Amy Bailey, Clinical Psychologist at the kidsFIRST Medical Centre, Dubai. “However, these reasons most commonly stem from the experiences that the child has had. When an infant is born, the brain has not made any neural connections. These connections are made based on the experiences that a child has and teach the brain how to respond to different situations (e.g. children who have grown up in a frightening environment have brains that are hardwired to recognise stress and can more easily react with a fight or flight response to situations that others may see as unthreatening).”
Most children who bully have witnessed this behaviour within some area of their life – this may be aggressive or dominating behaviour from a parent or other adult, or they have been the victim of a bully themselves.
As such, they think their bullying behaviour a perfectly acceptable way to communicate and interact with others. “Children are always watching and therefore we need to be mindful when dealing with our own frustrations and angers that we are modelling to our child appropriate ways in which to do this.””