Children commonly tease each other and often times it is in good nature and has no negative effects. However, when a child becomes a bully, they can seriously injure children both physically and emotionally. It is important to stop bullying before it escalates to the point that a child is hurt. Most people think about stopping bullying by dealing with the victim, but what should you do if your child is a bully?
There are many different reasons why a child becomes a bully, some are not too serious and can easily be overcome and others are serious issues that must be dealt with for the well-being of both bully and victim. Children may bully others because they have low self-esteem themselves, they want attention of are trying to fit in with other kids that bully. They may experience abuse or bullying themselves from other children or adults. No matter what the reason is, if your child is a bully you should take the following actions.
You should first discuss with your child what has been going on and get their side of the story. Many times a child who is a bully is being bullied himself or is facing other types of abuse. Always get your child’s side of the story to determine their motive behind being a bully. If your child is looking for attention, trying to make friends, or has low self-esteem himself, you can better help him cope with his problems if you find the underlying cause of what is going on.
Let your child know that bullying is a serious issue and will have negative consequences if it continues. Schools do not tolerate bullying and eventually your child’s actions will catch up with him. Let him know that his behavior must stop or there will be serious consequences. Many times a bully who is not stopped will have lifelong problems with crime and drugs.
Talk to your child’s teacher or other school official who has or can witness your child’s bullying. Working together to stop your child’s bullying will be more effective than working alone. Discuss ways to work together to stop your child from being a bully. Teachers are more than willing to help stop bullying as schools take it very seriously.
If there are other children involved with your child’s bullying, talk to their parents. Sometimes children act together as bullies and not all the parents may be aware of it. Parents that act together will strengthen the message that being a bully is not ok and have an easier time of stopping it.
Finally, you should address the reason why your child is being a bully. If your child wants attention, more friends, or just to fit in, give them ways to accomplish this without bullying. If your child has other issues that may be more serious like bipolar disorder or low self-esteem, seek professional help for the well-being of your child. Giving your child positive ways to problem solve will go a long way to stop their bullying.