Most parents will not openly admit that their kid is a bully until it is confirmed by their school or close family friends. They might have recognized the signs early on but chose to ignore them hoping that their child would change their behavior. Unfortunately, the possibility of making changes on their own without help is often low with majority being suspended from school and facing other developmental challenges. If you suspect that your child is turning into a bully, it is recommended that you help them change as soon as possible. Some of the basic steps to take to develop positive behavior after instances of bullying are listed below.

Admit that your child is a bully

If you have been receiving multiple reports of your kid bullying others, it basically confirms that your child is a bully. Therefore, it is important to act fast to keep the behavior getting out of hand and possibly leading to damaging consequences later in life. Accept that your child may be a bully. Once you’ve done that, talk to your child and help them understand that their behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated any longer. If they are older, they might already understand the term “bully” but if not, it is important to explain and have them promise to stop the behavior immediately.

Outline the consequences of bullying

Some kids will desist from bullying as soon as they are warned but others continue or even get worse. If the bullying episodes continue after the first warning, you will have to come up with consequences for their bad behavior. Punishment can be as simple as restricting movement or the use of their favorite gadget. It can also be as punitive as having them do community work so that they see reason and change their behavior. Even so, the consequences should focus on correcting the behavior and not breaking the self esteem of the child.

Co-operate with anti-bullying school policies

At times, your child can be bullying children at school and still be exhibiting good behavior at home. In such cases, it is important to find out the cause of the behavior in partnership with their teacher or school and address it quickly. If no change is seen over time then you can allow the school to enforce their policies on bullying to help your kid change their ways. Although most schools will have your child’s interest at heart, ensure that they do not go overboard with their punishment.

Seek counseling

Although change in behavior may take place and the bullying stops, it is still advisable to visit a counselor. Counselors that have interacted with children over time are skilled in drawing out information about the bullying behavior while suggesting areas that need change. Also, the counselor will help your kid get their life back on track by teaching them on responsibility, seeking alternatives to bullying, and helping them develop healthy friendships.

Generally, bullying is a behavior that should be discouraged as early as possible because of the lifelong damage it could on the victim and the perpetrator. If your kid is a bully, follow these steps to help change their behavior.

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