20 Jun · Tim Carter · No Comments

What to do if you Suspect Your Child is Bullying other Kids Bullying is terrible, plain and simple. It is heartbreaking to see a child coming home with bruises or mysteriously “losing” his/her toys and lunch money every day. Most of us can tell almost immediately if our child is being bullied. However, when the shoe is on the other foot, it almost always catches us flatfooted. Learning that your child is a bully might be the hardest thing for any parent that loves his/her children. It is one thing to know that your child is a victim of unfair treatment by other children but knowing that he/she is the perpetrator of these hurtful acts can be hard to accept. As such, the first reaction any parent might experience is denial. No one is ready to believe that their sweet little child can intentionally cause harm to another. When the truth finally sets in, you need to take steps to ensure that your child is aware of the gravity of the situation. You should instill a sense of remorse in them and make them understand that causing pain and humiliation to others is not okay.

1. Accept that there is a problem

A big part of dealing with the problem is fully acknowledging that there is one. Parents tend to employ avoidance techniques. Chalking it down to childish antics or hiding behind the “kids will be kids” phrase is bound to make you turn a blind eye on what is a serious problem. Therefore, the crucial first step is to accept that your child might be a bully.

2. Explain to your child what they are doing

Sit down and have a talk with your child. Let them know beforehand that you love them unconditionally and that you want to help them. If there have been reports about his/her behavior, explain to them how serious the matter is becoming and try to find out why they do it. It is imperative that you take a comforting approach because more often than not, a child does not fully understand the psychological impact of bullying and the lifelong effects that accompany it.

3. Find out why your child is bullying other children

When you learn that your child is a bully, it does not necessarily mean that they are bad people. A child might engage in bullying as a way of gaining approval from their friends or in order to avoid being bullied themselves. So before you conclude that your child derives pleasure from humiliating others, seek out the real cause. You might unearth some developing issues which, when left unaddressed, might evolve into serious problems later on in life.

4. Coordinate with teachers

The child’s teachers might have a better perspective on your child’s behavior given their objective standing and the fact that they may have witnessed the act themselves. Engage with the teachers and listen to their opinions on the matter. As childcare experts, they are bound to have a better understanding of the situation and will know how to deal with it. Work hand in hand with them to help solve this problem. Ensure to mention any problems your child might be experiencing at home, as this might be the reason for their actions.

5. Seek further counseling

If you find that your child’s case is more severe than you had originally thought, do not hesitate to seek the help of a professional counselor. Problems such as this might be as a result of repressed feelings that are often unhealthy and if left unchecked, have a heavy impact on your child’s psychological development. Be on the lookout for any aggressive or condescending behavior from your child and nip it while it is still early. Bullying can take on either a physical or a psychological approach and so do not be quick to write off the possibility based on the size of your child. Understand your child’s social activities and how he/she interacts with others. This will help you determine whether he/she could be intentionally causing harm to others.

Tim Carter

I’m Tim Carter, a thirty something year old, husband, father, childcare owner, and chocolate brownie lover. I believe children deserve better and only hope this blog will create a little change.