What Parents Can Do To Help Their Bullying Child

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One of the saddest recent events was the suicide of the 14-year-old New Jersey girl who had been mercilessly bullied. Unfortunately, this tragedy was far from being a unique occurrence. If a child you have responsibility for shows a need to dominate his/her peers, your first step should be to understand what they hope to achieve through such behavior. Some of the possibilities include the following:

Bullies often are intimidating victims in order to obtain something of value (cash, clothes, electronics, etc.)

  • Bullies may be seeking revenge on someone who’s gotten them in trouble.
  • Bullies feel emotionally uplifted when they feel a sense of domination over their peers.
  • Bullies may feel an urge to act against those kids whom they dislike or who come from a different demographic.
  • Through cyber-bullying to create public embarrassment for the targeted individual.
  • As parents or caseworkers begin to understand the reasons why a youngster may be bullying, they need to consider how to prevent such behavior in the future. 

     1.) First parents can help their child clarify the reason for any bullying behavior (please see above.)

     2.) Parents can connect the behavior to the feelings and needs which lead to the bullying behavior.

     3.) Parents can help their bullying children seek other ways of dealing with these feelings and needs.

     4.) Parents can show their bullying children that they should treat others as they would like to be treated. Using a reverse role play may be helpful. Have bullies play the part of their victims.

     5.) Parents can help their bullying children make a sincere apology to their victims. Most importantly, the apology must be specific as to what the bullying behavior is and must contain a promise not to make the same mistake again.