In present times, we know that children usually disrespect their parents. They remain angry and hold grudges against their parents, which they exhibit from their behaviors such as, arguing, using foul language, and even hitting them. In response, the parent uses their position and power to keep their writ over children. They abuse them verbally or/and physically and withdraw from some facilities etc. But the real problem is not limited to this. If you see around you and observe the community, you will find that there are so many children who bully their parents. And you are not alone.
Sibtain Mustafa serves as Clinical Psychologist at Willing ways Lahore. He has done Master’s in Clinical Psychology, from the University of Karachi, Karachi.
He has served as an internee at Anti Narcotics Force-ANF Rehabilitation Center, Karachi. During his internship, he developed an understanding of basic concepts in addiction. Furthermore, he has worked as a trainee psychologist in Alleviate Addiction Suffering (AAS) Trust, Karachi.
Editor: Sahrish Sarfraz
In this article, I’ll talk about the following bullying behaviors of children at home;
- Three types of Children, who bully their parents
- Three mistakes made by Parents in response of bullying
- Three main reasons, why parents let them bully
Furthermore, I’ll discuss in detail that why parents are unable to maintain their leading role at home.
Let’s talk about the outcomes first, when bullying behaviors of children are unnoticed, the price paid by parents, and what should be done about it all.
The Outcomes of Un-Noticed Bullying at Home
When parents are unable to deal with the bullying behaviors of their children at home, they will face bitter outcomes.
Children who bully their parents create these negative effects on all of their relationships,
- Increased frustration
- Instant gratification focused
- Lack of empathy
- Disturbed relationships
- Antisocial behaviors
Childhood experiences play a key role in personality development. So, these negative schemas or mental images extend into adulthood and later life.
In adulthood they are prone to;
- Addiction; both chemical or non-chemical
- Emotional disturbances
- Poor eating patterns; obesity or anorexia nervosa
- Relationships problems
- Manipulation and other behavioral problems
The Outcomes For Parents
Parents who let their children to bully them in any way, they most likely to suffer the long-term effects. These kinds of adults behave with their parents like;
- Don’t Care for patents
- Stealing from parents’ money
- Always dependent on parents; financially and other matters of life
- Conflicts with parents
- Verbally, emotionally and even physically abuse their parents
The children who bully their parents learned negative behaviors. And these behaviors reinforce by the responses of their parents, hence they continue to do those behaviors. Actually, they never learned the effective ways to cope with everyday life stresses, emotional management, and communication skills. These children and adults need professional intervention to deal with their presenting problems. Otherwise, they will continue their negative behaviors.
Being Bullied by Children? What to do?
The longer you permit bully behaviors, the harder is to deal with them. If you really want to get rid of this complex situation, you need to speak it up. Ask for help and get the right support. Share your feeling with your sincere friends and other parents. The fact is, parents who are bullied by their children always have shame and guilt. Which restricts them not to talk about real problems, resulting in long-term suffering. The bullying must be dealt with directly and wisely. It won’t stop if you don’t have the courage to stop it.
The following four strategies can help parents to deal with a young bully at home;
1. Unity of The Parents
United parenting is vital to reclaiming boundaries with your children. If only one partner is being bullied by the child, and the other partner is not. Then this is the worst scenario. The child uses this relationship state of the parents and continues to bully one parent.
When parents are not on the same page, the functionality of the family becomes compromised, and the whole family suffers. This split situation affects the overall wellbeing of the children and they have a split perspective about each of the parents, while each parent is also trying to influence the children against other partners. This chaos and negative modeling results in the negative schemas or mental images of the children and they become vulnerable to having negative personalities. And they learn that it’s no big deal to bully or shout on someone you love or care for.
Therefore, it’s compulsory for the parents to continuously working on their relationship. It is recommended to work on your relationship on daily basis. Another problem arises, when the marital status disturbs from the normality such as, separation or divorced. In-spite of the situations, the parents must struggle as team for the overall wellbeing of their children. In-fact, they teach their children that how to deal with the conflicts without bullying or fight.
It is normal to have disagreements among the parents but beauty of this relationship lies within the dealing strategies.
2. Gather Support
Sadly, there is no place for bullied parents. Everyone knows this fact. You have no need to hide or feel embarrassed. In-fact, most of your friends and family know about your situation, whether you are hiding from them or not. They can understand your situation and can offer you help and support, if you ask for. So, stay confident and get help as soon as you can.
3. Involve School / College Officials
Usually, parents don’t come forward and ask for help at school or college for their children. They feel ashamed of their situation and don’t want to reveal it to anyone. Even at child’s institute of learning, where matters of parents remain confidential. They may be suffered from different psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, etc. They often used denial, i.e., refusing the reality to cope with mental distress. But, isolation can only worsen the problem. A big fear is that, “what will other say?” You have to face your fears in order to get rid of painful situations.
We can all understand, that asking for help isn’t an easy task. But, this is the only way if you are being bullied by your child. Counselors and Psychologists are available for help in most of the well-reputed institutes. So, feel free to ask for help.
4. Get Professional help
Unfortunately, in our country, there is little help available for the bullied parent at educational institutes. The good news is; internet is full of education for such problems. There is plenty of open sources having educational material and readily available videos, from which parents can learn a lot and even can solve these problems their own without going anywhere. If you think you can’t do it alone, then seek professional help. You can contact with a therapist or counselor for your concerned problems. They will provide structured treatment to deal with the children who bully parents.