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Bullying and family dynamics


When talking about the issue of bullying, it cannot be denied how family dynamics play a role in the creation of an individual that is susceptible to being a bully or vulnerable to being bullied. Here are some examples and things to consider when we look into a family dynamics and bullying.

First and foremost let’s talk about parenting and parent-child relationship.

Children need guidance and boundaries. Having said that, when home situation feels dictatorial and leaves no room for individuality and freedom, child will rebel and harbor anger. That anger felt might be turned into aggression towards  others, especially targeted to a person that is deemed weaker and seen as an easy target.

Speaking of easy target, that is also why over parenting can lead to being susceptible to being bullied. When they that they are controlled, lack of assertiveness and sense of boundaries rises. They do not speak up because they were never allowed to have their own voice and not being able to be their own person. That is when a child is more vulnerable to being bullied. They would less likely tell anyone about it due to feeling that they deserved to be treated so. They could also accept the situation as normal as they don’t know any better.

On the flip side, there is under parenting, when yet again boundaries are not clear because parents lack a sense of what is right and wrong. When an adult is not  around to communicate and guide a child, they feel lost and insecure. These feelings can manifest itself in lashing out.

A simple example is the lack of bed time routine in some children. Some parents do let the children choose their own bedtime. By doing so, parents risk losing control of the child’s respect and understanding of authority.

Each child is their own individual and should be seen, respected and treated as such. Everyone has their own strength and weaknesses. For example, some parents tend to compare grades or talents between children. This can leads to a feeling of less than in some and superiority complex in others.

Children often do things in the name of seeking parental love and acceptance and it can also comes from a negative space. As an example; as much as a child would seek positive recognition through good grades, on the flip side, one can also seek attention through negative ways, like hitting another child in order to get parents to notice.

Children needs encouragement to discover and learn what they are good at. It will develop a healthy emotional intelligence and understanding. Make them learn that they are enough by accepting their own weaknesses and strength and able to build up on those positive traits.

Create a household that values respect. Respect is earned not given. As an adult, should be responsible in creating a household that parental communication is sincere, loving and respectful. Yes, all relationships go thru difficult times and the adults have to show that this tough conversations are dealt with in the most loving and respectful way. No name calling, derogatory words, yelling as such. Children learn from watching adults and they internalize a lot. They are taught by watching  the way and language of how disagreements, conflicts are dealt with.

Every family is unique but one thing for sure is that a positive family dynamics should be priority for all. When a child feels safe secure in themselves and in their surrounding, there will be absolutely no need to run after another person to feed that ego and insecurity. Parenting is allowing the children to express themselves positively, feels accepted and not judged being who they are. With healthy self confidence in our children, let’s help each other minimizing bullying or better still eradicate it.


About the writer

Mazura Illani Manshoor graduated from Boston University with a degree in Psychology. She is a certified Early Childhood and a Montessori teacher with years of teaching experience.  

She is also co-founded  CreaTee and has the strong passion for children and education causes.

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