When their physical life is in a mess, parents find it harder to cope with the challenges that are part of every day. This situation puts many parents into a reactive mode and makes them easy targets for bullies. You can help your kids by helping yourself be more in control of your life. Adopt a lifestyle that lets you control your circumstances more than they control you.
You can also teach your kids every tip here to make sure they will not be bullying victims and, of course, you need to be a good role model for them by “walking the talk” and showing them how to be in charge of your life.
Control over your life is a good way to build confidence. It does not mean you have 100% control of everything that happens to you in life (we wish!), but it definitely means that you will save your energy for situations that are truly out of your control. Unfortunately, there will always be situation like that, but if we are not too busy with an out-of-control lifestyle, we can handle the accident, the misunderstanding, the trauma, the health problem and the relationship issue better.
Here are the 5 more tips for parents to build their emotional strength and stop the bullying cycle.
When someone bullies you, it will interfere with your judgment, your feelings and your everyday life. Many things around you will go out of balance, because you will be busy emotionally and less available for your kids, for your health, for your relationships, for your social life and for your financial commitments. Being organized can help you keep your balance.
Being organized means you have rules to make your life easier and that you stick to them. It does not mean it will prevent bullies and emotional overwhelm, but it will take longer for them to “get” to you.
Bullied people are under a lot of stress, which makes it very hard for them to make reasonable decisions. Therefore, you have to have routines, rules and procedures to prevent you from making decisions under stress. Parents are under lots of stress even when they are not bullied and unexpected things only make life harder to manage, so planning and preparing for the unexpected can help when there is extra pressure.
Develop your time management, develop your financial skills and put systems in place to prevent you from doing things you do not want to do.
Do not drink alcohol
Many people who abuse their kids do it under the influence of alcohol. When this happens, they do not really control their behavior and become very demanding, say things they do not mean to and damage their relationships. Sometimes, they become aggressive and even violent.
I have many clients who talk about their drunk and abusive dad (mostly) and how they feared his rage while he was drunk. When I say “clients”, I do not mean kids, I mean educated, successful, wealthy, friendly, grown up people with scars on their hearts carved by their drunk parent (without even being aware of it, because he was too busy being drunk at the time). Sadly, these scars cannot be removed with plastic surgery.
If you drink a little bit too much, I want you to know that your kids will take this with them to their grave. When you drink, you are not the loving parent you want to be, you are not the supportive parent you want to be, you are not the role model you want to be for them and if you think they will forgive you, think again! They will not. They may say it to convince themselves they have moved on, but most of them will be changed for life.
My best advice is: do not drink!
You may find that addiction counseling really helps to deal with substance abuse issues, or, if you want to keep drinking, do it away from your kids and be sober before you communicate with them. Kids should never, never, never, never ever see their parents drunk!
Use the kids as an excuse if you have to
You can use your kids as an excuse along with the “I need to check with my wife” technique. It is obviously better to tell the truth and say to the bully you do not want to go with them or do something for them, but I understand that the dynamic is often that you feel weak and cannot be completely honest, so sometimes, you just need a way out. When a bully asks you to give them your time, say that you cannot do it because of the kids. It works really well. You are putting the blame on someone else who is not there and the bully is likely to let you go.
Take care of your health
Your health is very important in feeling strong and in control over your life. If you are sick, tired or low on energy, your performance will drop. Some parents abuse their body because of depression, stress and anxiety. Remember, your body is your life’s vehicle and when you abuse it, you cannot use it properly. It is like driving a car without maintenance, without petrol and never taking it to the mechanic.
Go and have regular doctor and dentist checkups. No matter the cost, when you neglect your health, you end up paying double to fix it. Eat healthy food, drink wisely (actually, it is best not to drink alcohol and it is possible), sleep well, do some exercise, get enough fresh air and take care of your mental health. You will be a better parent when you control your needs in a sensible way rather than going the easy way of abusing your body. You are much more vulnerable when you are not healthy.
Avoid thoughts of revenge
When someone abuses you somehow, it is very natural to have thoughts of revenge. However, looking for revenge keeps the bad feeling with you while the bully is not influenced by it at all.
Thinking about revenge will not stop the bully, but it will keep you feeling victimized longer than it should. Revenge comes with horrible thoughts that you carry in your mind about other people getting hurt.
Remember that everyone who bullies you is also a victim and someone else is bullying them. They are hurt already, so hurting them more will only to make them defend themselves more and make the bullying worse.
Forgiveness is the key to stopping the bullying cycle. Let go!
When my older sister was mad at someone, she used to say, “God will punish them”, and that was enough for her to let go of her anger and stop seeking revenge. I think it is a good technique. Try it.
More anti-bullying personal development tips next weeks. See you then.
This post is part of the series Bullying:
- Bullying Facts and Myth
- Bullying Statistics are Scary
- What is NOT Bullying?
- Types of Bullying
- Why Do People Bully?
- Victims of Bullying
- Bullying Bystanders
- Home of the bully
- Home of the bully (2)
- Workplace Bullying
- Workplace Bullying (2)
- How to Help Bullying Victims
- How to Help Bullying Victims (2)
- How to Help Bullying Victims (3)
- How to Help Bullying Victims (4)
- How to Help Bullying Bystanders
- How to Help Bullying Bystanders (2)
- How to Stop Workplace Bullying
- How to Stop Workplace Bullying (2)
- How Workplace Bullying Bystanders Can Break the Cycle
- How Organizations Can Stop Bullying
- How Organizations Can Stop Bullying (2)
- Bully Parents
- How to Stop Parental Bullying
- How to Stop Parental Bullying (2)
- How to Stop Parental Bullying (3)
- How to Stop Parental Bullying (4)
- How to Stop Parental Bullying (5)
- How to Stop Parental Bullying (6)
- How to Stop Parental Bullying (7)
- How to Stop Parental Bullying (8)
- How to Stop Parental Bullying (9)
- How to Stop Parental Bullying (10)
- How to Stop Parental Bullying (11)
- How to Stop Bullying with Empathy: The Story of Two Apples