What To Do If Your Child Is A Bully
It is estimated that 8 out of 10 children in the UK are affected by bullying at some point. For every child that is bullying, there has to be a bully too. So what do you do if your child is a bully?
Step 1: Spot The Warning Signs
There are several clues in your child's behaviour that might signal that they are a bully. Look out for aggressive or intimidating behaviour towards their siblings or pets, or violence. They may complain of being mistreated by teachers or other children. You might even receive phone calls from your child's school or from other parents complaining about your child's behaviour.
Step 2: Talk To Your Child About Their Behaviour
Remain calm so that you can deal with the situation effectively. Do not place blame. Talk to them calmly and rationally. Expect them to deny their behaviour. Spell out to them what bullying behaviour is and why it is not acceptable. Tell them gently how their behaviour makes the bullied child feel. Ask them several questions to try and find out the cause of their behaviour.
Step 3: Know What Questions To Ask
What don't they like about the child they are bullying?
Why do they feel the need to treat them in that way?
Is anyone else joining in the bullying?
Step 4: Get To The Root of the Problem
Children usually bully others because they are unhappy about something themselves. Ask your child whether there is anything bothering them. If there have been problems at home, talk to them about how you can resolve these issues together.
Step 5: Talk to the School
Go and visit your child's school and talk to the teachers and parents of the bullied child. Assure them that you are aware of the problem, are dealing with it and will keep an eye on your child's behaviour. It is a good idea to encourage your child to apologise to the other child but don't make them feel pressurised or victimised when doing so.
Step 6: Keep An Eye Out
Talk to your child regularly to check that they are happy and not slipping back into old ways. Spend time with them and make sure that they feel valued both at home and at school. Make it clear that you are there to help them at any time should they need it, and by dealing with any issues that arise that might spark off their bullying behaviour, you are doing all you can to ensure that it doesn't happen again.