Why Young Children are Mean and How to Stop It
As parents, one of the things that we would like to do best is to protect our children from being bullied. Most parents will no doubt be horrified to learn that their kids are being bullied at school. The same can be said for those who will hear that their kids are the bullies themselves. Of course, it is only natural that parents would want to defend their children, especially those that are said to have been bullying other kids, but it does not necessarily mean that they should just disregard these pieces of information. Parents should also know that there is a difference between kids being mean and being bullies.
One of the key responsibilities of parents is to do everything they can in order to be certain that their children are not being bullies. Instilling good values and outstanding conduct in our children early on can help prevent this. Raising our kids the right way can even lead to them standing up for a bullying victim than being the perpetrator of the mean act. Meanness happens every day, and not only in schools, but in the world of adults as well.
So why are there young children who tend to be mean? There are many different reasons, but the most common ones are the following:
1. They honestly are not aware that they are being mean.
2. They use meanness as a form of self-defense or self-preservation.
3. They have been a victim of meanness.
4. They have seen people, particularly adults, being mean to each other.
The good news is that you can eliminate meanness in your child, given that you do so as early as you can. Teaching him/her about compassion and kindness should be on top of your list. The best way to introduce these good characteristics is to talk to them about the following:
• How committing such actions affect other people negatively. Most of the time, kids who are being mean know that whatever it is they are doing is wrong. However, they often do not have a complete grasp on how these mean acts hurt others.
• How coming to terms with their feelings and emotions can help. Teaching and coaching your child to understand what they are feeling will help them understand that mean acts can hurt others.