5 Effective Parenting Strategies to Address Your Child’s Bullying Behavior

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Bullying is a complicated issue that can have long-lasting negative effects on both the bully and the victim. While it’s heartbreaking for any parent to learn that their little one is being bullied, it can also be soul-crushing if you find out they’re actually the one in the wrong. So if you ever find yourself in this tricky situation, don’t fret. In this article, we cover everything you need to know about bullying in children, including signs to watch out for and tips on how to effectively and proactively help them overcome it.

What Is Bullying?

Bullying is using force, threat, or aggressive behavior to intimidate or harm another person who may be seen as vulnerable. It often involves a power imbalance between the bully and the victim, where the bully uses their perceived superiority to control or harm the victim. Bullying behavior can take many forms. Here are some examples of bullying in children.

  • Physical bullying includes hitting, kicking, pushing, tripping, or otherwise physically hurting another child.
  • Verbal bullying is name-calling, teasing, insulting, or using hurtful language to belittle or humiliate another child.
  • Emotional bullying involves spreading rumors, excluding or isolating another child, or manipulating social situations to harm or control another child.
  • Cyberbullying is using electronic communication, such as social media, text messaging, or online chat, to bully, harass, or intimidate another child. If you child games on a PC or any other device, they may be experiencing cyberbullying through video games, social media or text messages. Cyberbullying is on the rise as it can go unnoticed. 
  • Sexual bullying – Involves unwanted sexual comments, gestures, or physical contact and can occur in person or online.
Recognizing The Signs of Bullying Behavior in Children
  • Displaying aggressive behavior towards others.
  • Using mean or hurtful language when talking to other children.
  • Showing little to no empathy or may be insensitive to the feelings of others.
  • Showing a strong and controlling behavior, including manipulating or coercing others to do what they want.
  • Liking to exclude others from social situations or groups leaves them feeling isolated and alone.
  • A fascination with violent toys, video games, television shows, or movies.
  • A history of getting into trouble at school or with the law
How to Stop Your Child From Being a Bully

It’s critical to call out and address bullying in children immediately before it gets worse or they suffer serious repercussions of their actions, such as the inability to form positive relationships, which they can carry into adulthood. Chances are, your child may not know what they’re doing is out of line and only need proper guidance from people they look up to. 

If you witness your child hurting or speaking meanly to another, the best thing you can do as a parent or caregiver is not to ignore or dismiss the negative behavior. Instead, here are some  helpful parenting strategies you can do if your child is a bully.

Talk to your child – Have an open and honest conversation about their actions. Ask them to explain what happened and why they acted as they did. Please do your best to listen without judgment and try to understand their perspective.

Spend quality time with them – Sometimes children act out to seek attention from their parents. If you feel that you’ve been too occupied with work and other things in life, take this as a sign to bond with your child intentionally. It doesn’t mean you have to go on expensive trips just to make it happen. It could be something as simple as cleaning your home with the kids and making it fun by putting on music or having a family barbeque in your backyard and asking them how their day went.

Read books about bullying together – There are many great books you can read with you child about bullying whether they are the bully or being bullied.


Set clear expectations – Tell your child that bullying is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Explain why bullying is harmful and the impact it can have on others. Explain the consequences of bullying, and be consistent in enforcing them.

Teach empathyHelp your child develop empathy by encouraging them to see things from other people’s perspectives. Talk about the feelings and experiences of others, and encourage them to treat others with kindness and respect.

Monitor online communication – Use a monitoring software like Bark or ProtectMe by Kidas for gaming to ensure your children are safe online. Get alerts when you child is being bullied.

Model positive behavior – Children learn by example. Try your best to be a positive role model. Show your child how to resolve conflicts peacefully. If your child sees you as kind and compassionate, they are likelier to do the same.

Seek professional help – If your child’s bullying behavior persists or escalates, seek help from a pediatric psychologist, therapist, or counselor who can help the child address underlying issues contributing to their hurtful behavior.

Most importantly, always come from a place of love. Support your child throughout their journey. Be patient and persistent, and be with them every step of the way. With time and consistency, you can help your child overcome their bullying behavior and become a kind, responsible, and empathetic person as they grow up.


Meet the Author | Guest Writer

This post was written by someone who we think has some pretty savvy ideas! We love sharing creative, informative and fun things form guest contributors!

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