How to act if you find that your child is a bully

You only ever expect the best from your child. The way in which you view your own child is through love and happiness, which allows you to see his or her best qualities. Any discrepancies are overshadowed, even if addressed, as you love your child unconditionally. Some parents don’t believe their child could ever be bad, even if undesirable behavior is shown. The child you know and love can be very dissimilar in different environments and circumstances. You could never imagine or expect your child to be the bully. If you discover that your child is, in fact, a bully, you could be in shock and despair.

What are you to do if you find out your child is a bully?

Take a deep breath

It can be hard hitting to find out that your child is a bully. The very idea is heartbreaking and devastating. To think your precious child could be capable of such malice and torment is unthinkable. It can leave you feeling all different kinds of emotions from shock, despair, anger, hurt, guilt, worry and panic. You can expect an array of emotions and feel dumbfounded about how to act and react on the devastating news that your child is a bully. Take a deep breath, collect your thoughts and decided how to best tackle the situation according to your child.

Refrain from getting angry

Finding out your child is a bully can leave you feeling angry and enraged. The very idea can make you want to yell and reprimand your child. However, this reaction is wrong in many ways. Firstly, it won’t actually achieve anything other than make your child recoil and descend into him/herself. Secondly, it only shows that anger and rage are acceptable and appropriate. This is not the message you want to be sending out. It is essential to refrain from showing contempt and anger, and instead be in control of your feelings.

Confronting your child

This is going to be difficult, and the right approach is essential to be able to get to the bottom of things. Even though your child has been bullying, and this behavior is horrendous and unwanted, it doesn’t mean he/she is feeling good about it. In fact, your child is probably in despair, and being confronted is likely to make him/her retract and become withdrawn. This can make it harder to deal with the situation at hand. Ensure you choose your words carefully, and be tactful. A gentle yet firm voice is needed to allow your child to understand your feelings. You need to be careful to avoid him/her fleeting to resolve the situation.

Find out the reason

There is always a reason for children to bully. The reason is usually due to a lack in their life, or because of stress or problems that are affecting them at the time. Think about how to approach and confront your child about his/her actions. Your child didn’t plan this and he/she isn’t going to be proud or feeling good about his/her actions. Your child may not even know why he/she has acted in this way, which means you will need to work with your child to find the underlying reason for the bullying.

Put a stop to the bullying

Once you have deciphered the reason for your child’s bullying, you need to express your feelings. Let him/her know that this behavior is unacceptable, and explain the affects his bullying behavior is having on others. Be blunt and honest to allow your child to understand the harm that bullying causes. Also let him/her know of your despair and disgust. It is important to follow up with letting you child know what his/her actions have caused for others and yourself. This allows your child to understand his/her wrongdoings. Inform your child that this bullying stops here and that he/she needs to come to you when feeling angry or when faced with any problems.

Find ways to channel your child’s energy

Whilst you may feel angry and hurt by your child’s actions, you need to understand that he/she needs help. Once your child knows what he/she has done is wrong, and he/she has shown remorse it is time to move on. There is no good continuing to bombard your child with punishment, as all this serves is to make him/her feel that he/she is worthless. Instead, you need to help your child find ways to fill his/her time productively. Get your child involved in extracurricular activities, or find other interests that he/she can partake in. This will help to build on his/her confidence and put things into perspective.

No one wants to believe their child could be a bully. However, children do become bullies for one reason or another. If you happen to find out your child is a bully, you need to confront him/her, find out why he/she has been bullying and resolve any issues. Working with your child to resolve the issues and problems can turn his/her behavior around and make him/her realize his/her wrongdoings. If your child has become a bully, put a stop to it and help him/her to change his/her ways.