We are all familiar with bullying, and your child may have even experienced bullying before. But what if your child is the bully? What do you do as a parent? 

Here are 9 steps you can take to address and correct bullying behaviour in your child:

1. Take It Seriously

Acknowledge and take the issue seriously. Bullying behaviour should not be dismissed or ignored. Recognising the severity of the behaviour is the first step toward addressing it.

2. Understand the Motivation

Explore the underlying reasons behind the bullying behaviour. Is it a response to personal challenges, a need for attention, or a result of being bullied themselves? Understanding the motivation can guide your approach to addressing the issue.

3. Communicate Openly

Talk to your child about their behaviour in a non-confrontational manner. Encourage them to express their feelings and concerns. Create an open dialogue where they feel comfortable discussing their actions.

4. Set Clear Expectations

Clearly communicate your expectations regarding behaviour. Make it known that bullying is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Establish consequences for continued bullying and ensure your child understands them.

5. Teach Empathy

Help your child develop empathy by discussing the impact of their actions on others. Encourage them to consider the feelings of the individuals they have affected. Building empathy is crucial for fostering kindness and understanding.

6. Model Respectful Behaviour

Children learn by example. Model respectful and considerate behaviour in your own interactions. Demonstrate how conflicts can be resolved without resorting to bullying tactics.

7. Implement Consequences

If bullying behaviour persists, it’s important to implement appropriate consequences. This may involve loss of privileges, time-out, or other consequences that align with the severity of the behaviour. Consistency is key in reinforcing expectations and communicating the unacceptability of bullying.

8. Seek Professional Help

If efforts to address bullying behaviour at home prove challenging, seeking guidance from a child psychologist, counsellor, or mental health professional can be beneficial. Professional intervention can provide valuable insights into the root causes and offer strategies for positive change.

9. Celebrate Positive Changes

Acknowledge and celebrate positive changes in your child’s behaviour. Reinforce their efforts to adopt respectful and positive interactions with others. Celebrating milestones and improvements provides positive reinforcement, encouraging continued growth and positive behaviour.

Addressing bullying behaviour requires a comprehensive and proactive approach. By addressing the root causes, teaching empathy, and implementing consequences, you can help guide your child toward more respectful and empathetic behaviour.

New Life Student Care has two programmes that seek to develop a child’s character and encourage him to serve his community. Our Shining Spirits Programme teaches children positive values like perseverance and discipline, encouraging them to accept differences in other people and to be kind to others. We also partner with various community organisations in our Samaritan Souls Programme, where our students learn to relate with seniors, develop compassion for the less fortunate and learn to care for the environment.