Bully-Proof Your Child: How to Deal with Bullies

Is Your Kid the Problem?

When your child is the one teasing and threatening, you need to take action right away -- not just for the sake of the victims but to nip this behavior in the bud. If you're unsure, watch for these warning signs:

  • She's impulsive and gets very angry quickly.
  • He takes out his frustration by hitting or pushing other kids.
  • She hangs out with other kids who behave aggressively.
  • He fights bitterly or physically with his siblings.
  • She has difficulty understanding how her actions affect others.
  • He gets into trouble at school frequently.

If one or more of the above fits your child, have him practice techniques, such as taking deep breaths or counting to ten, to help control his negative emotions. When you see your child acting in a hurtful way, tell him to stop, remove him from the situation, and then talk about what he can do instead next time. However, if your efforts don't make a dent in his behavior, ask your doctor to recommend an appropriate mental-health professional.

Originally published in the October 2010 issue of Parents magazine.

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