Bullying is all the rage right now. From cyber-slamming to good ol’ fashioned fist fights, bullies are on the rise. Haven’t you been wondering where all of these bullies are coming from? Even more so, aren’t you wondering how you can raise your own?
Great news! I can tell you how. My son is young yet, but he’s got a pretty impressive resume so far. Not only has he been kicked out of daycare and preschool, he even got our nanny to quit.
Quite a rap sheet, I know (forgive me if I beam with pride).
So it is with first-hand knowledge I share with you my very own secrets on how to start raising your own bully at a young age.
Secret #1: As early as twelve months, you can begin to detect signs of potential bully-ism in your child. Capitalize on it! Signs to watch for: tantrums that last for hours, head banging in frustration, excessive biting and pulling, books torn to shreds, bedrooms brought into total disarray, and nearly constant running, kicking, spinning, banging, and yelling. If you are witness (or victim) to any of the above, consider yourself fortunate; your path to creating a bully is well underway!
Secret #2: As your child grows, continue using all of the tried and true parenting techniques such as time-outs, breaks, 1-2-3 Magic Parenting, positive language, and redirection to teach your child, but keep it a secret! The other moms assume you are trying other methods such as swearing, beating, and using the television as a sitter to raise your child. Don’t let them in on the sacred “Raising a Bully” secret — you are actually trying the EXACT same methods of parenting as them and you are STILL getting a little bully out of the deal! Oh, if they could only count themselves so fortunate!
Secret #3: When you stop getting calls for play dates and discover your child is not receiving invites to class birthday parties, pat yourself on the back. His bully reputation is really building. Also be aware that you may get to spend more time with your child because he won’t have many friends. Enjoy each other’s company, as you’ll notice your friend list will start to dwindle too.
Secret #4: Get used to the furrowed brows, sneers, and turned backs. Know that it’s not in your head. These moms really are judging you. They recognize it’s all your fault your kid is a bully (congrats!).
Secret #5: Take note of all the apologetic smiles and nods of “understanding” from those very same moms when the whisper goes round that part of your child’s bullying is to be blamed on “other issues” such as autism, sensory-processing disorder, attention deficit disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, or depression. These sympathetic looks may feel condescending, but never fear. They will soon forget and begin to blame (I mean, award) you again for your child’s bully status (after all, you deserve all the credit!)
Secret #6: Be prepared for lots of communication with your child’s school. They want to remind you of what a great job you’re doing by citing all of the bully-like behaviors your child has been involved with. Not many parents get to hear a list of all the impressive work their kid does. This is definitely a perk.
Secret #7: This one’s important. Just because you’re raising a bully now doesn’t mean your child will stay one forever. In fact, it’s entirely likely your child’s “bully” label is just a phase. I know. I’m sorry. The good news? The emotional scars your child will carry from being labeled a “bully” will likely last a lifetime.
Secret #8: Take solace in knowing that raising a bully is actually one of the most rewarding parenting labels out there. You put in the same amount of work as everyone else (maybe a little more), but you get almost ALL the credit!
I hope this sage advice gives you something to mull over the next time you encounter a real, live “bully.” Don’t forget to let the parents know what an awesome job they’re doing.
They need to hear it.
This post is lovingly dedicated to the woman who dared to call my son a “bad boy!”