What to do if Your Child is the Bully

Many parents could never dream of their child intentionally causing harm to another, but kids can surprise us in sometimes unpleasant ways. It’s important to remember that bullying does not mean you have a bad or troubled child. Children and teens are still experiencing major brain development, which can cause poor and impulsive decision-making. Along with peer pressure and general insecurities, kids and teens face a lot of hurdles as they start to make sense of the world. If you suspecting or have been told that your child is bullying others, here are some insights into why it could be happening and how you can help your child overcome it.

Reasons a child may turn to bullying

Children don’t hurt others for no reason. Often, alarming behavior signals an unmet need that your child doesn’t know how to express. A child may participate in bullying if they:

How you can help

Your first response upon finding out that your child has been bullying others can range from denial to shock and anger. Your first instinct may be to get defensive (“My child would never!), but the hard truth is that your child might very well be bullying others. It’s also not a good idea to rain fury on your child, since there are likely underlying issues that need to be addressed. Speaking angrily to them, making harsh judgements about their character, and assigning extreme punishments without working through the issues will all backfire. Instead, try these tactics:

Help the bully to prevent bullying

Anti-bullying week is Nov 15th - 19th
. When we think of anti-bullying campaigns, our mind often goes to those being bullied. While that is important, it is also important to recognize those who are bullying and be aware of how we can help them do better. If you or someone you know has a child who is bullying, consider professional counseling as part of the action plan to overcome their behavior. Those in the California and Nevada areas can reach out to Medens Health either online, or by phone/text at (833) 624-5400.