Tips for Parents and Caregivers of Children Who Bully Others
Sometimes parents must deal with situations in which their children have behaved in a way that is mean and hurtful to others.
Parents can support children who bully to make positive behavioral changes by using the following strategies.17
Discuss bullying and set clear rules at home.
It is important to have consistent, clear rules that have fair and predictable consequences. Redirect your child and provide negative consequences when your child demonstrates verbal, physical, electronic or relational aggression directed at another child. Praise your child when he or she chooses not to participate in bullying behavior or when he or she helps a student who is being bullied.
Talk with your child.
Ask for your child’s account of the bullying incident. Be prepared to be objective and to listen carefully. Explain your understanding of the bullying incident. Clearly communicate that this type of behavior is serious and will not be tolerated.
Understand bullying policies and work with the school.
All parents should be informed of the school’s bullying policy and procedures. If your child is involved in bullying at school, be prepared to support the school’s actions. You may wish to set up a schedule of regular meetings with school staff to gain feedback on how your child is responding to any interventions to address peer aggression.
Help your child connect with peers who demonstrate positive behavior.
Peers can serve as positive role models for children and are important players in the bullying dynamic.
Model the behavior you expect from your child.
Show respect to others. Solve problems without aggression. Set a good example for your child.