Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My child is a bully. What can I do?

Use positive discipline. If you hit your child, be prepared for your child to hit others. If you have used physical punishment in the past, stop. Tell your child the new rule in the home for all family members is, “no hitting.” Teach your child that hitting, pushing, and teasing others is never okay.

Take a parenting class to learn how to discipline without hitting or spanking. Parenting classes in Hillsborough County can be found at:

If your child steal or damages another child’s clothes or toys, have him or her restore them or replace them. Require your child to do additional chores to pay for replacing the victim’s property or take away his or her allowance for several weeks to pay the cost.

Help your child develop empathy and caring. It’s important they learn how their behavior affects others. Bullies begin to think about their behavior and the outcomes of their behavior when adults discuss situations and ask questions. “What could you do when you want to feel powerful instead of hitting and shoving someone?” or “You are a good kid, but it’s wrong to hit others. Can you think why you might do this?” are good questions.

Tell him or her that you won’t allow the bullying to continue. Tell your child:
·         Stay away from the child or children you have harassed or bullied.
·         You can’t be with other children who are bullying with you.
·         Go directly to school and come directly home. If possible, make arrangement for an adult to go to and from school with your child.
·         I (or another adult) will supervise you. If other children play in our home, you must play where I can see you.
·         If you visit another child, I will call the child’s parent to see if he or she is at home. You will be closely supervised.

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