My Child is a Bully - What Should I Do?

Not every child who is involved in bullying is on the receiving side, you may find out it is your child that is the bully. Below you will find some tips on what to do if your child is the bully.

My child is a bully - what should I do?

  • Try and get to the root of why they have become a bully. Were they bullied themselves? Do they think that by bullying others they will get back the power that they lost? Has your child learnt this behaviour in the home? Maybe you should be looking at how you behave. Do you adopt bullying behaviour? Be honest. Often bullies learn the behaviour from family members. If the behaviour is uncharacteristic, could something be worrying them and that's why they are lashing out?
  • Make sure that they know how much you disapprove of their bullying, but don't say that you're ashamed of them or that you're disowning them, even if you feel that way. You have to let your child know that it's their bullying behaviour you disapprove of – not them. They need an incentive to change.
  • Work out a way for your child to stop bullying. Maybe they think that aggression is the best way to deal with any kind of conflict. Teach them other ways.
  • Come up with a suitable way that they can make amends for the bullying. This could be something as simple as apologising to their victim or writing an essay to be read out in front of the class.
  • Look at how your child resolves conflicts within the home. This can give you a clue as to how they behave when they're away from your scrutiny.
  • Get your child to empathise with their victim. Bullies tend to lack empathy and this is why they continue to bully. Try role-playing where you give them a taster of what it's like to be on the receiving end of bullying for a change.

Books related to this article...

Bullying: A Parent's Guide