Things to Do When Your Child is a Bully

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You may be familiar when many shows in today’s media that tackle bullying. It can be one of the main driving plots of a show, or somehow touches up on it. While its portrayal in media is more rampant and open now, there are still many aspects of bullying that need to be addressed. In reality, bullying is becoming a serious problem in schools. It is a persistent problem that is getting more complicated as it spreads now also into online spaces.

One of the aspects of bullying that rarely gets talked about is when your child is the bully. Of course, no parent wants to hear that their child had been bullying other children. It is an appalling and almost unthinkable thought that parents find it hard to believe that their children are capable of inflicting any sort of harm on others. However, the sad truth is, it happens. Nevertheless, bullying is a major problem for the perpetrator, therefore it’s important to confront the behavior as soon as you can to support your child in changing it.

However, condemning our children because of their unsavory behavior further reinforces it. Instead, we have to help them in dealing with their situation, which is why we have gathered some useful tips for parents on what to do when their child is a bully.

1. Understand the situation

If your child has been accused of intimidating other students, you should first speak with them about it. Put all your feelings to the side and try your best to first comprehend the circumstance. It’s understandable that you may feel horrified when you hear what your child had done or said to other children but go over the situation with a clear mind. You never know if there was a part of the events that made your child act this way.

Make it clear that you hear both sides of the story first before making any rash actions. Remember that there are always two sides to it, and hearing your child’s point of view will also help you understand the situation better. This will show that you are aware of the circumstances and yet, you are still concerned about their well-being. If you instantly scold your child, they may act more agitated or even defensive and this will cause them to push any help away.

2. Find out the main root of the problem

To learn why your child is bullying others, talk to them. With this, you can actually think of better ways to help them and deal with the situation. One of the reasons they bully other children is because they also get bullied at home or in school. According to studies, children who have experienced bullying before are more prone to engage in bullying themselves. Or if they are not getting bullied, they want to impress a group to become friends with them. Some children fear not being accepted in friend groups or bully others to avoid being the next target of other bullies.

Sometimes, they are not fully aware of how their actions hurt other people. Some kids struggle to grasp empathy, which makes them less likely to be kind to others. Additionally, they are less likely to experience guilt for hurting someone. Another reason could be because they have a medical condition. Some children with attention deficit disorders are more likely to bully other children. If you suspect your child may have this, it’s best for you to seek professional medical help immediately to properly address the situation.

3. Recognize the negative behavior

Surely, you have already heard that the first step to solving a problem is recognizing there is one. This can be a hard pill to swallow, especially for parents. However, addressing the issue as early as possible also maintains that the issue is solved as early as possible. And for cases like bullying, it is very important to do so at the earliest before it can escalate further.

Some way for parents to address negative behavior is to persuade their children to own up to their actions. You have to make it very clear that bullying is wrong and is never okay to do to anyone. It should also not be tolerated even if it is not done to you. As such, some children will claim that they were just playing with others, however, you have to make them understand that people have limits and they have to learn the difference and when to stop.

4. Let them know the consequences

Bullying harms its victims physically, intellectually, and emotionally. Bullying frequently lasts for a very long time because the victims may be reluctant to speak up. If your child bullies others, they need to realize that their actions have repercussions. To make bullies aware that their actions are unacceptable, apply consequences. They can reflect on their actions by being denied privileges, being subject to a curfew, or being given time to think about what they have done.

5. Take action

Numerous studies have demonstrated that prolonged exposure to violent or aggressive content in the media might cause people to become desensitized to it. They might then act in a similar manner toward them in school. So, it’s crucial to start creating a positive home atmosphere. At home, you can increase supervision of them and praise their efforts to stop with violent behaviors. You can also monitor and approve what kind of shows they are watching. Additionally, parents also need to pay attention to their children’s peers so they know the people that may influence them.

At school, they can ask help from their children’s teachers and tutors to look for any signs in their children that may be deemed problematic. This will allow them to keep track of their behavior and make sure to follow up on them regularly. They can also ask for help from their teachers to work hand in hand in fostering positive actions and reinforcements to their children to improve their children’s behavior.

6. Ask for help

As parents, there is only so much we can do; occasionally, we must seek the counsel of experts. Even with the help of the people around your child like their teachers, tutors, and even peers, improvement may still be difficult to come by. Consult psychologists, your child’s doctor, and coaches if you need assistance recognizing and handling bullying behavior. Do not minimize the impact of your child’s bullying behavior on both your child and the victim when dealing with it. It has to be changed and handled. Every student should feel secure while attending school.



Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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