What to Do If Your Kid is a Bully

    By Laura Edwards

    [dropcap]F[/dropcap]earing that your child is being bullied is a parent’s worst nightmare. Parents become really anxious and worried when their kids are scared to leave the house fearing some bully who may behave in a mean manner with them or even beat them up. Since we don’t know exactly what might happen, all we can do is figure out how to respond to the different possible scenarios.

    But when our child is the bully, what can we do? This is a possibility we probably have not prepared you for. If you happen to be the parent of a bully, and you need help dealing with the situation, take a look at the following tips.

    Have a conversation with your child. If you come to know for a fact that your kid is indeed bullying other children, it is better that you sit down with them and talk things through which will help you find out why he or she is behaving in that fashion. The motives behind his action might even surprise you. It is important to understand the child’s motives before taking steps in guiding him.

    Be ready to give it your all. A professional counselor may be needed if talking to your children does not resolve the issue. Trained personnel should be able to assess and recommend needs for your child.

    Include others in the plans. Get together with the parents of the other child (or children) who are the victims of bullying along with your child’s teacher. What you learn could be surprising. You could also note that there may be other kids that have an interest in bullying maneuvers. Breaking up a bullying ring and creating a more positive environment for the children of the school could be a part of the process in these discussions. You must be ready to listen to things that may be untrue and hard to hear.

    You need to broaden your kid’s horizons. Help him to understand the bad experiences of being bullied. Try to share immediately relevant experiences with him, especially if you were bullied in the past yourself or if you know of someone in the family with a similar story. It might be beneficial for him and inspire him to change his ways, if he witnesses the consequences of his actions on other people.

    Be a great example. Oftentimes, children imitate what they witness. Are there any environmental factors that could be contributing to the child’s behavior? If you can see them, try to remove or remedy these types of situations. In order for the environment to improve significantly, you or your family may need to be counseled for a period of time.

    Set limits. An important lesson in life for children is that their behavior has consequences and this needs to be reinforced continually as you deal with your child. After you speak with the authorities at school you can go about setting the limits on his behavior and put an end to his career as a bully. By keeping close watch over the kid with many people, he will be forced to be accountable for what he does. If established boundaries and guidelines are not respected, it is appropriate and recommended that the known consequences be put into action. Consider consequences appropriate to the age, and preferably non violent. It might require limiting some of the things they like to do and omitting privileges.

    If nothing else, show your kids how you feel about them. This requires time spent with him, in order to comprehend the way he thinks. Relating to your child will grow your relationship, allowing him to vent instead of being a bully. Be encouraged and know that there is help as you cry out “Help, my child is the bully”.

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