Bullying is out of control in our schools. Although it is hard for most parents to hear about their child’s negative behavior, parents of children who bully must work closely with the school to resolve the situation. Parents need to remember that children who bully are at high risk for engaging in risky or even criminal behaviors, and it is very important in a bullying situation for the parents to act immediately.
If you think that your child may be bullying others, read about the warning signs for children who bully and work with your child’s school to address this issue.
What Can You Do?
Talk to your child. Ask for his/her side of the story. Be objective and listen carefully. Calmly explain what your child is accused of and ask for an explanation of the incident and their role.
Make it clear to your child that you take bullying seriously. Calmly let them know that you will not tolerate this behavior. Help your child learn that bullying hurts everyone involved.
Develop clear and consistent rules for your child’s behavior. Praise your child when they follow the rules. Decide on fair consequences and follow through if your child breaks the rules.
Spend more time with your child. Carefully supervise and monitor their activities, including when they are online or texting.
Be aware of who your child’s friends are. Find out how they spend their free time.
Build on your child’s talents and positive attributes. Encourage him or her to get involved in social activities.
Work with your child’s school to ensure the bullying does not happen again. Ask the school to keep you informed. Develop strategies together to address bullying. Work together to send clear messages to your child that the bullying must stop.
Talk with a school counselor or health professional. They may be able to provide your child with additional help.