Though bullying is not new, it is certainly getting more attention than ever and for good reason.
Of course parents want to protect their child(ren) from being the victim of bullying — and there are many resources out there to help parents protect their children from being bullied. But what do you do if you find out that your child is the bully?
Let your child know it’s wrong
If you hear from another parent, teacher, neighbor or friend that your child has been bullying other kids, you need to have a serious heart to heart with your kid right away. Regardless of your child’s age, you need to find a way to explain that the behavior is wrong.
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Bullying is not about being cool, sticking up for oneself or anything else. Make sure your child is clear on what bullying is and why it is not OK to bully other people. Be direct about how you expect your child’s behavior to change and the consequences that will come if it doesn’t.
Get to the root of the problem
Seek professional help
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Consider his environment
Here’s the tough part — you may have to take a good look at your child’s environment (i.e. your home) to ensure that he’s not picking up any bullying habits from home sweet home. Are you a yeller? Does your husband pick on you or your kids (even if he’s “joking”)? Do you use fear as a discipline tactic? Do you or your husband use racial slurs or judge others in a way that would lead your child to believe that it’s OK to mimic the behavior? Be honest with yourself.