Randi Kreger has brought the concerns of people who have a family member with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) to an international forefront through her best-selling books, informative website, and popular online family support community Welcome to Oz.
Parents Who Bully Their Children
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One would think that as people mature and progress through life, that they would stop behaviors of their youth. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sadly, adults can be bullies, just as children and teenagers can be bullies.
While adults are more likely to use verbal bullying as opposed to physical bullying, the fact of the matter is that adult bullying exists. The goal of an adult bully is to gain power over another person, and make himself or herself the dominant adult. They try to humiliate victims, and "show them who is boss."
There are several different types of adult bullies, and it helps to know how they operate:
Narcissistic Adult Bully: This type of adult bully is self-centered and does not share empathy with others. Additionally, there is little anxiety about consequences. He or she seems to feel good about him or herself, but in reality has a brittle narcissism that requires putting others down.Impulsive
Adult Bully: Adult bullies in this category are more spontaneous and plan their bullying out less. Even if consequences are likely, this adult bully has a hard time restraining his or her behavior. In some cases, this type of bullying may be unintentional, resulting in periods of stress, or when the bully is actually upset or concerned about something unconnected with the victim.
Physical Bully: While adult bullying rarely turns to physical confrontation, there are, nonetheless, bullies that use physicality. In some cases, the adult bully may not actually physically harm the victim, but may use the threat of harm, or physical domination through looming. Additionally, a physical bully may damage or steal a victim's property, rather than physically confronting the victim.
Verbal Adult Bully: Words can be quite damaging. Adult bullies who use this type of tactic may start rumors about the victim, or use sarcastic or demeaning language to dominate or humiliate another person. This subtle type of bullying also has the advantage - to the bully - of being difficult to document. However, the emotional and psychological impacts of verbal bullying can be felt quite keenly and can result in reduced job performance and even depression.
Secondary Adult Bully: This is someone who does not initiate the bullying, but joins in so that he or she does not actually become a victim down the road. Secondary bullies may feel bad about what they are doing, but are more concerned about protecting themselves.
More About Parental Bullies
A bully is someone who is regularly overbearing. He or she looks to cause humiliation or discomfort to another, particularly if that other is weaker or smaller. This can be physical bullying, emotional bullying or mental discomfort and humiliation.
It is important to understand that bullying goes beyond physical intimidation. Many people don't realize that emotional and mental bullying can have just as many long lasting effects as physical bullying - even though the effects are of different kinds. The effects from bullying parents are no less severe.
It may seem strange to think that parents can be bullies, but they can be. Parents who are overbearing, constantly belittling their children or seeking to be controlling, and enforcing rules with a heavy hand, may actually be crossing the line into bullying parent behavior. Indeed, there is a difference between correcting a child's inappropriate behavior and constantly trying to control every aspect of that child's life.
Emotional and mental bullying works by using methods of demeaning speech and other techniques that are meant to help the bully feel superior.
When bullying parents use this style of parenting, they try and motivate their children by being derisive. This can be especially damaging, since it can encourage a child to think ill of him/herself. This can leave mental scars that can result in depression, as well as set the child up to have difficulty sustaining good relationships. Indeed, if a child learns how to treat people form the example of a bullying parent, he or she is likely to grow to be a bully as well, and may have a hard time developing healthy relationships.
Cyberbullying by Bullying Parents
Another form of bullying is cyberbullying. Some parent bullying is developing along these lines as they try and dominate others in an online social circle. Cyberbullying is becoming a real problem. It involves saying mean things online, putting unflattering graffiti on someone's social wall, or sharing pictures with others of a person in compromising situations. Indeed, cyberbullying is such a problem that there was a case in which an adult woman harassed a teenager so much online that the teen went into depression and committed suicide.
Some bullying parents use such tactics to control their children's lives online. Other parents think they are protecting their own children when they bully other kids. Indeed, in an effort to try and protect their kids, some parents go too far in trying to teach other kids a lesson and become bullies themselves.
Dealing with parent bullying
Dealing with a parent bully can be difficult. The first thing you should try is to talk to the parent. Try and work out differences. If that doesn't work, it is a good idea to talk to some sort of authority at the school, or even with law enforcement. It is important that parent bullying be stopped, especially since it can be damaging to the long term psyche of the child.
How to Bully-Proof Your Child:
Researchers including a child psychologist featured in a recent CNN article encourage parents to work with their children even when they are young. It is important to teach your child the difference in their interpretations of life situations. This helps them learn to distinguish between events and feelings. This helps them also understand and relate to the feelings of others.
Teaching them these skills early is the best way for them to differentiate how others treat them as they get older. They will be able to determine if how those individuals are treating them is appropriate or not or if they are in fact being bullied.
Another great way to learn how to bully-proof your child is to help them develop a sense of self. Encourage them to learn about themselves and to learn and excel being exactly who they are. Children that struggle to identify who they are, or constantly strive to be their "hero" they are never going to be able to live up to those expectations.
This can be detrimental for their self-esteem, which can make them a direct target for bullying. Kids with low self-esteem are less likely to stick up for who they are and make a prime target for kids looking to pick on someone weaker than them.
It is also important to encourage your children to explore activities that make them feel good about themselves. Find something that they are really good at because it will help increase their overall self-esteem and feeling of self-worth.
Encouraging courageous behavior is another great way to help learn how to bully-proof your child. You can encourage them to stand up for themselves as well as their peers and other friends. When groups of kids or teens stand together to put an end to a bullying situation, the bully is more likely to back off and won't mess with your child again.
Taking these measures when your child is young is the best way for them to establish early on that they will not stand for bullying. They can grow up with these values and share them with their peers and other friends. This is a great way to help protect your child from bullying situations throughout their live including adulthood.blog comments powered by Disqus
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