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My Child Is a Bully: What to Do If Your Child Is Bullying Other Kids

my child is a bully

My child is a bully! Words that you don’t want to hear. We’ve all been there at some point, whether it’s been an experience with kids our age or something else entirely. The problem is that it’s often hard to identify the child whose bullying the child who is being bullied because many of the other kids think that bullying is just “normal” behavior. I’ll explain what you can do if your child becomes a bully when they’re not sure how to change their behavior.

Understanding Bullying Behavior

Bullying is any aggressive behavior a child or teen uses to harm another person. The bullying may be physical, like hitting or kicking, but it can also be verbal, such as name-calling or threats. Other types of bullying include social exclusion (like ostracizing someone from the group), cyberbullying (such as spreading rumors online), and hazing (forcing someone to do something embarrassing). Kids being bullied often feel sad, scared, and angry—all of which can lead them to act out in negative ways.

But why do kids exhibit bullying behavior in the first place? Understanding the reasons behind peer aggression can help you better understand how to manage and eventually stop it. There are several reasons why kids bully others:

Reasons Kids Bully Others:

  • Feelings Of Power: Bullying can give kids a feeling of power. Bullies may feel good about themselves when they are able to make other people feel bad. It is often the case with younger children who are still working on developing their own sense of self-confidence and identity.
  • Jealousy and Exclusion: Kids bully others because they are jealous. They might resent other kids because they seem to have more friends or a better reputation among their peers. Kids who get bullied often feel like they’re being excluded from the group and decide to harm others to make themselves feel better. Peer bullying also occurs when other kids want to hurt someone because they don’t like them for some reason.
  • Copying Behavior They See At Home: Kids are often influenced by the behaviors they see modeled at home. If a young child is being bullied by his parents, he may decide to copy that behavior when interacting with peers. For example, if a child sees his mother yelling at her husband and calling him names, he might think it’s okay to treat others poorly because of his own poor treatment at home.
  • Attention Seeking: Kids acting aggressively are often trying to get attention from their peers or the adults in their lives. This is because they might not receive enough attention at home. They may be seeking more attention from those around them, even if the attention is negative and hurtful in some way.

Things You Can Do To Help Children Stop Their Bullying Behavior

Bullying is a learned behavior and can be replaced with more positive behaviors. By talking with your little one, seeking help from professionals, and modeling appropriate social skills for your child, you can teach him more appropriate ways of dealing with feelings, peer pressure, and conflicts.

1. Talk With Your Child

talking with your child

When you receive a call or notification alerting you to the fact that your child is bullying other kids, you must first talk to your child about the problem. If you jump straight into punishing them, they may not understand why they’re being punished. 

In order to initiate the conversation, you may state something along the lines of “I got a call from your teacher today. She said you were bullying another student in the class and that I should be aware of the situation. I am really concerned about this. Please tell me what happened.”

Talking through the situation with your little one can help you understand why the aggression is happening and what crucial steps need to be taken to stop it. Some reasons they may do these harmful actions include feeling jealous or angry about something, feeling left out, and wanting to be noticed by their peers.

2. Craft An Action Plan

After you have investigated the main roots of the problem, you can now craft your response to the specific challenges that your little one faces in his everyday interactions. Discuss certain scenarios that might be challenging for your child, and guide him through suitable responses. For instance, if your little one has been excluding one of his classmates from social activities, tell him, “When another child asks to play with you, say ‘Sure! Let’s go!'” I want to see you, including children, and I want to see you using respectful language.”

Encouraging children to take the perspective of someone who is being bullied can be helpful. Ask your little one: “Think of a time when you felt left out because another person was not being kind to you. That feeling is the same feeling another child is having because you are not being kind to him.”

3. Teach By Example

teach by example

Young kids exposed to unkind interactions at home are more likely to engage in the same behavior. If you are modeling behaviors like exclusion, teasing, or name-calling, your child will be more likely to follow suit. Instead, practice kindness with each other and set a good example for your children.

It is vital to begin fostering a positive home environment where family members treat one another with kindness and respect.

4. Provide Consequences

If your child is being unkind, it’s important to provide consequences that fit the behavior. For example, if your child is teasing another child, you could ask him to stop and apologize. If he continues, take away his electronics for the evening. It sends a message that there are consequences for unkind behaviors and helps teach children what it means to be kind. For less severe forms of bullying, the victim should be able to earn back his privileges over several days or weeks.

5. Make It Right

make it right

Once your little one has regained his privileges and is calm, explain gently that he made a mistake that needs to be fixed. If your little one has been unkind, making amends is vital. For example, if he teased another child at school, he could write a letter of apology or give his victim a gift as an act of kindness. 

6. Provide Positive Feedback

 Once your child has made amends, providing positive feedback is important. Children need praise for good behaviors as well as discipline for bad ones. For example, if he apologized for teasing another child at school, you could say something like, “I know that was hard for you because you don’t like to apologize. But I really appreciate how hard you worked on this apology letter and how sincere it is. Thank you for doing the right thing!”

7. Keep Monitor The Situation

If another parent approaches you about your child’s bullying behavior, it’s important to keep an eye on the situation. For example, if he has still been teasing another child, remind them again that there are consequences for their behavior. If they continue, it may be time to take a more serious approach.

7. Ask For Help

seek professional health

If your child continues to be unkind, it is best to seek help from a professional. A therapist can help you and your child learn how to manage his emotions in a positive way, so he doesn’t lash out in anger or frustration again. A professional can help identify why he is behaving this way and provide a plan to address the problem.

8. Be Realistic

It is vital to remember that your child will not change overnight. He has likely been acting this way for some time, and it will take time to change his behavior completely. It is best to be patient with him and offer encouragement as he learns how to manage his feelings in a positive manner.

Final Thoughts

My child is a bully! Words that you don’t want to hear. It can be difficult to know how to react. However, by approaching the situation with empathy and discipline, you can begin to see positive change.

Knowing the roots of your child’s behavior will help you to understand why he is acting this way and how to best address it. The steps mentioned above will help you to begin the process of change. However, it is vital to remember that this process takes time and requires patience and consistency from you and your child.

Here at NY Baby Steps Daycare, we are here to help you with this process. We want to do everything we can to ensure that your child feels loved and cared for in our center, which is why we offer a variety of resources that can help you as well. If you wish to share your opinion or have questions regarding this article, please feel free to comment below this post. Or you may contact us for more details.