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How Do I Ensure My Child Isn’t The One Causing Harm To Others?

We often wonder how best to teach our children to stand up for themselves, and sadly, many people have to support their children in overcoming the difficulties they confront at school when they are bullied or picked on by their peers.

I’ve noticed in society that we constantly ask, “What can the community do? What social activity clubs can they form to keep the young ones safe and occupied? What other laws and regulations can the government enforce to keep our children safe from the crimes that occur on the streets, and what else can schools do to limit bullying and keep the children safe?”

I believe we should begin to consider what we can do to ensure that our children have correct morals and values, confidence and courage, and a healthy mind to do what is right, and potentially influence and urge others to act in ways that are safe for those that surround them.

At the end of the day, there’s only so many laws or social clubs that can help keep children safe. Perhaps we can start keeping a closer eye on how our young ones might be negatively impacting others…


Don’t ignore signs


Although it can be hard to admit, there may be times when even if you don’t see the actual bullying, your child may show signs that they potentially push others around, might be a little rough or aggressive at times, or perhaps speak to others in a rude manner. Straight away, these are behaviours that should be called out and corrected because not only are they already behaviours that others shouldn’t have to tolerate, they will probably get worse, especially when unsupervised. Additionally to their behaviours when interacting with others, how do they behave with you when they are unhappy about something.

It is common that a young child might throw tantrums until a certain age. Young children throw tantrums because they haven’t yet learned how to identify exactly what they are feeling and how to appropriately express themselves and address the situation. However, children reach a certain age when they should understand their emotions on a surface level. By this age they should also understand social norms and social cues enough to behave appropriately when expressing their emotions. If your child is a little older, an age where tantrums shouldn’t really be happening at all but still do, crying, kicking, screaming, hitting and throwing things, this could be a sign. This could mean your child isn’t aware of their emotions or how to express or control them appropriately. 

If this is how they behave towards you, imagine how they might act in school towards their peers when they get upset, and most importantly, how this behaviour will progress as they grow into teenagers who can’t control their emotions.

Don’t wait for your children to potentially grow out of these behaviours while their peers suffer…


Get to know your child.


We often believe we know everything about our children, when in reality these are probably some of the years when they experience the most changes, and who knows how they are actually coping with the adjustments, whether it is in their own bodies, adjusting to new schools or peers or changes in the family and household. New behaviours can appear quite random and as if your child is bringing you a new issue every week, but it is crucial that you spend quality time with your child, making them feel loved, cared for and paid attention to.

Spend time getting to know how their mind works; when they act out in small ways, what could they really be trying to communicate? If there have been any obvious changes, such as at home, puberty, changing schools, or changes in their friendship group, ask them about it, see how they are coping with it and how it may be affecting them.

The last thing we want is for your child to suffer in silence while also taking their frustrations out on others, causing others to suffer as a result of their own struggles.


Be a prime example


Although we would like to raise our children by the famous words “Do as I say, not as I do,” setting a good example of how a nice and respectful person acts is more likely to teach your children to behave similarly towards others. There is something about seeing someone act in a way that brings joy to others. Your child witnessing you behave in ways that make others smile or feel good and respected is far more likely to stick with them and actively teach them to behave in a similar manner than if you tell them to be kind and respectful to others. Still, they constantly see you behaving in a way that contradicts that.


Teaching children to be assertive


Teaching children to be assertive is a valuable skill for both protecting themselves when others are unkind to them and not being unkind to others. This teaches children how to express themselves without being angry, disrespectful, or overbearing. It also educates young people about boundaries, allowing them to express what makes them uncomfortable or what their preferences are. The most rewarding thing about a child understanding this for themselves, is that they can begin to understand how others may feel. Hopefully, if they can be assertive and understand boundaries, they may understand that others also have the right to be assertive and have their own boundaries without issue.

A good way to make the world a safer place for our children is to teach them to be kind at home so they are positive towards others as well.


Need some help?


If you’ve been trying your best to teach your child to have good morals and values but see odd behaviours from them or receive negative feedback from the school, please don’t hesitate to contact us, and we’ll match your child with one of our amazing children’s counsellors who can connect with your child, make them feel at ease, and get them involved in activities and conversations that might help them understand their emotions and the impact of their behaviour.


You may also wish to read my other children’s counselling blogs

Written by Eva Domingos, a counsellor at My Solution Well-being. 



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By MSWB Team on 26/03/2024 in Wellbeing

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