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Saturday, October 6, 2012

If your child is a bully...

Hearing that your child has been bullying another child is not something that you want to hear.  You might respond with defensiveness or disbelief...not YOUR child!  Before you do anything consider the following -

All kids have disagreements and even occasional fights.  That is normal.  What isn't normal is finding pleasure in making someone cry or hurting them or making them feel bad just for the fun of it.  That kind of behavior needs to be

Kids use bullying for different reasons.  Some kids are insecure or have trouble interacting with their peers.  Some see bullying at home or in the neighborhood.  Some have anger issues.  Some do it to be accepted by a particular peer group.  Before dealing with your child, do some detective work and determine why your child is being a bully.  If you don't see a reason, talk with teachers, your child's friend's parents, neighbors and see if there is a pattern.

When you talk with your child, let him know that some behavior is not acceptable under any circumstances.  Be firm!  Being unkind to another child is one of those unacceptable behaviors.  Let him know that there WILL be consequences if they are mean to anyone.  Teach him how to deal with people he doesn't like.  If you see your child being a bully, intervene.  Stop him and remove him from the situation.  You might have to monitor his interactions with other kids for a while.

If he has social issues, help him learn how to treat his peers in an acceptable manner. Let him know that no one likes a bully.

If he sees bullying at home, of course, that needs to stop.

If he has anger or violent issues, you might need to work with professionals to help him overcome those tendencies.

Whatever the reason, let your child know that you love him and want him to be happy.  Tell him that he cannot be happy if he makes someone else unhappy.  He needs your help on this one.


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