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Bullying: How to Help Your Child Who Bullies

Overview

It can be hard to accept that your child may be bullying other children. But once you recognize the problem, you can help solve it by helping your child learn how their actions affect others. Being sensitive to others' feelings (empathy) is largely a learned skill that you can teach your child.

  • Take your child's actions seriously.

    Let your child know that bullying will not be tolerated. Set up and follow through with consequences, such as losing privileges.

  • Involve the school.

    Ask your child's teacher, school administrator, or school counselor for help.

  • Talk to your child about the importance of understanding the feelings of others.

    Ask your child how they would feel as the target of bullying.

  • Supervise your child's activities.

    Know where you child is spending their time. Ask about community or school programs for after school.

  • Be a good role model.

    Show your child how to treat other people with respect and kindness. Avoid reacting to disappointments with verbal or physical aggression.

  • Praise your child for kind words or deeds.

A child who bullies may need professional counseling to learn healthy ways to interact with people.

Credits

Current as of: February 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Susan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Louis Pellegrino MD - Developmental Pediatrics