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Dealing with a Bully

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to deal with a bully. To the person being bullied, it can be a traumatic experience that may leave emotional scars. As parents, we need to take a serious look at bullying prevention with our children starting at an early age.

Some parents may not realize that their child is a bully, and therefore, cannot attempt to change the behavior of the child. Some parents may suspect something is going on with their child, but not know what or how to fix it.

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Signs to Look for if You Suspect Your Child is a Bully:

Cruel behavior

A child that is mean to animals, is more likely to become a bully. Throwing rocks, hitting, and chasing animals with sticks is not normal childhood behavior. Putting a cat in a gunny sack and throwing it into a canal or ditch is not funny or normal. This type of cruel behavior can quickly escalate into cruel actions towards siblings or other children.

Anger Problem

A child who becomes angry quickly and seemingly over nothing could be a warning sign. This is even worse if the anger is accompanied by fits of violence like slamming doors or throwing items. This too can evolve into violence towards family members and other people. School fights are another good example of anger issues.

Conversation Topics

The things your child talks about with their friends can be an indication of how they view and treat other people. There is a difference between discussing the latest slasher flick and what they think about or say to other people. It is also evident in the way they talk to other people. If they speak to other people with obvious contempt or make fun of them in a cruel manner, this could be a bad sign.

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Attitude Towards Other People

The way your child interacts with people can tell you quite a bit. Making fun of shy people, laughing at something bad that happens to someone, and/or being rude to certain people are possible signs. Another example is showing contempt for smart people or people less fortunate than themselves. If your child tries to use intimidation as a way to get what they want, that is a big warning sign that your child might be a bully.

There are no easy ways to deal with having a child who is a bully. The best place to start is to identify the possible warning signs and go forward from there. There are few resources for how to correct bullying behavior, as opposed to how to deal with your child being bullied. Do not lose hope, some good resources can help you as a parent.

As with all aspects of parenting, talking with your child is key. Bullying prevention should start at a young age and explain to our children that there are a lot of different types of bullying behaviors. Bullying is not just a few actions or harsh words directed at other children and/or individuals.

Getting to the route of the problem of why the child is acting in this negative manner will help get the child back on track. I have listed out some resources below that can help parents prevent their children from becoming bullies and help them seek the help they need if their child is showing signs of being a bully.

Let's all do our best as parents and ensure that our children our treating others with respect and empathy. The effects of bullying can be long-lasting.

Parent Resources for Bully Prevention:

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