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Your Child is a Bully. What Should You Do?

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BullyingIt is always shocking when parents find out that their child is misbehaving, partly because parents are convinced that they are fully aware of their child’s actions, and partly because parents are the ones responsible for teaching their children how to behave properly. However, before finding out that your child is a bully from someone else, you can realize the truth on your own by taking the following signs into account.


How Can I Tell That My Child Is a Bully?

 Bullying doesn’t happen overnight. There are lots of signs that indicate your child might be developing an aggressive behavior, so you have a chance to put an end to it before the situation gets out of control. Name-calling, exaggerated offensive attitude, and showing off without any compassion for others are the most frequent signals that something is wrong.

 Understanding Your Child’s Behavior

When you find out that your child is a bully, take immediate action as well as try to understand his bullying behavior. In most cases, children tend to develop aggressive behavior because they feel insecure, they don’t know that such conduct is unacceptable, or they are copying the behavior of their family members and friends.

 Your Child Feels Insecure

If your child feels insecure, it’s only natural that they will try to put emphasis on them being important. Therefore, your child may pick on smaller or weaker children in order to feel important again. Parent-child communication is the answer to this problem. You should maintain a good connection with your child by listening to them and paying attention to their feelings. Praise and encourage your child’s good behavior and criticize his misbehavior rather than their personality.

Dealing with Feelings

Sometimes children’s aggressive behavior is the result of their unawareness of how they should behave towards children who are different. Explain your kid that it’s wrong to make fun of others because of their race, religion or their appearance.  Clearly mark such behavior as unacceptable and establish appropriate consequences such as loss of certain privileges.

Your Child is Copying Someone Else’s Behavior

Family members are a child’s role models. If somebody in your family is using aggression to get what they want, it is very likely that your child will follow such behavior model and try to act in a similar fashion. Show your kid how you deal with your feelings when you are angry or frustrated, and teach them on your own example that yelling and making accusations are not the right way to handle strong feelings. Be sure to reward them every time your child handles conflict well.

If you need some extra help, you can always turn to the child’s teacher and school counselor. School staff will give you a better insight in your child’s behavior and help you put an end to your child’s bullying.

Photograph credit:Flickr; Terry Freedman

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Contributed by Mike Neil

Mike has been blogging for over 4 years about parenting. Mike is a father of 2 with a broad experience educating his children. Over the years, Mike has published numerous articles and review on outdoor toys, children books and activities.

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