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How can I help them?

Encourage your child to examine their own feelings. Why are they bullying?

Children can bully because of many reasons: boredom, underlying anger, jealousy, fear, existing prejudices, feelings of low self esteem. Is your child being bullied? Many children bully because they are angry at being bullied themselves.

Children also often bully as way of boosting confidence and boosting self esteem. It gives them a rush. If they are not challenged and supported they can become practised in this pattern of behaviour of hurting themselves and others. Ultimately, any confidence a child gains from bullying is false. If your child can understand the underlying reasons why they are bullying they will be in a much better position to change.

Encourage your child to think about how others feel. Bullies often de-humanise the people they bully. They lack empathy for the way others feel.

Is your child part of a group that is bullying? Encourage them to take responsibility for their actions and to think for themselves.

Do not tolerate any excuses for bullying. All people are different but all are equal and equally deserving of respect.

In what way has your child become a bully? Has your child been influenced by the behaviour of yourself or another adult? Have they witnessed any bullying in your home? Lead by example and encourage others to do the same. Bullying is learned behaviour.

The really positive thing about this is that learned behaviour can change.

Resources - My Son / Daughter is a Bully

Websites

Family Lives is a national charity providing help and support in all aspects of family life.

Documents

See these other useful websites

  • Anti-Bullying Alliance Network
    National Children's Bureau
    NSPCC
    Healthy Schools