If you think your child is bullying others continued...
You can help your child by setting rules, supervising activities, and leading by example.
Control your anger, and show sensitivity and respect for others. If a child
bullies, do not punish him or her with physical force (corporal punishment), such as spanking. Physical punishment only strengthens the
belief that people can get what they want through aggression.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry recommends that parents of
children who bully seek help from their child's teacher, principal, school
family doctor. These professionals can help evaluate
your child's behavior and make a referral to a child and adolescent
psychologist, or a
licensed counselor who can work with your
If you think your child is being bullied
children are too embarrassed or are afraid to tell an adult about bullying.
They may think that involving an adult will only make the problem worse. Help
prepare children by teaching them socialization skills, modeling friendly
behavior, and telling them that you will always be there for them. Mention that
if something bothers them, they can also talk with a school counselor.
Be familiar with
signs of bullying, such as frequent headaches, stomachaches, or not wanting to
go to school. Also, ask your child questions, such as whom he or she eats with
at lunch or plays with at recess. If you sense something is wrong, trust your
There are many ways you can help your child deal with
- Talk about the situation. Although often
reluctant at first, many children who are bullied will open up if they are in
the right environment. A good place to start these discussions is in the car or
other place where you have little eye-to-eye contact. Listen calmly and
thoughtfully. Don't promise that you won't tell anyone. Rather, admit that you
may need to become involved but you will do your very best not to make problems
- Practice role-playing at home. Encourage your child to
react calmly and confidently to taunting. Help your child understand that
responding with physical aggression or insults usually will make the problem
worse. For example, have your child practice saying "Leave me alone" and then
- Teach your child behaviors that show confidence
rather than shyness and vulnerability. Children can learn to look people in the
eye and speak up when they talk. Assure your child that confident behavior can
be learned. Help
build your child's self-esteem by suggesting that he or she meet others
through different activities. Having friends and interests can boost a child's
confidence and make him or her less likely to be bullied.
- Encourage your child to think about the qualities that make a good
- Suggest that your child join activities that are supervised
by an adult. Bullying is less likely to occur near adults.