Does your child bully others? Ten positive actions for parents

Content type
Short article

July 2014


Jodie Lodge

This resource is part of a series on bullying.

So your child is bullying others?

While it is a normal reaction to feel shocked, worried, fearful or even to deny or defend the bullying - try to listen to what others are saying about your child.

Children can't learn without making mistakes. It's how we help them deal with those mistakes that matters.

Bullying is intended to hurt, frighten or threaten someone, and can continue over time. It might be physical, or involve teasing somebody, or leaving that person out of a group or activity. It can be face-to-face, or might happen by mobile phone or via the Internet. Bullying is a way of having power over others and not simply random childhood meanness.

As a parent, you need to step in.

Did you know?

Children who bully are more likely to:

  • do poorly in school
  • turn to violence as a way to deal with problems
  • damage property or steal
  • abuse drugs or alcohol
  • get in trouble with the law

Here are 10 positive actions you can take

Stay calm Avoid blame and focus on potential solutions.

Talk with your child Let them know firmly that bullying is unacceptable, and that it must stop.

Ask why Try to find out if there is something troubling your child either at school or at home.

Get on board Take it seriously. Support the school policy.

Set clear, but reasonable rules Reward good behaviour and follow through with consequences.

Monitor your child Supervise your child and give them immediate feedback on their progress.

Create a respectful home Encourage respectful and kind actions between family members.

Spend time with your child Nurture your relationship and model positive ways of dealing with conflict.

Make a commitment Support your child's efforts to improve.

Get help If things don't improve, it's a good idea to seek professional advice.

Remember, the times when our children challenge us are the times when they need our respect and support the most

Help lines and other support

Parent Helpline 1300 364 100

Youth Healthline 1300 13 17 19

Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800

Find a psychologist service

Search for a psychologist in your area or phone 1800 333 497

Find an allied health professional

Search for an allied health professional in your area

More information?

See Helping Your Child Stop Bullying: A Guide for Parents