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
A helpful guide from Kidscape.
- Stop Bullying! Practical advice for everyone (PDF, 55 Kb)
Produced by Leicestershire Anti-Bullying Team, this document gives information on what bullying is, its frequency and effects, where and when it occurs, as well as exploring "The 'Bully', the 'Victim' and the 'Group" and potential roadblocks to solutions.
- The Background to Bullying and its Social Context (MS Word, 163 Kb)
This booklet from Kidscape has three main sections: Bullies, Victims and Self-assertiveness Techniques. Bullies and victims sometimes have similar problems so you might find helpful suggestions in all the sections.
- You Can Beat Bullying - A Guide for Young People (PDF, 81 Kb)