ABH Maryland

Reliable Ways to Prevent Bullying Behavior in Your Child


Reliable Ways to Prevent Bullying Behavior in Your Child

  • Children Mental Health
  • Family

Thinking “my child is a bully” can be emotionally challenging for any parent. However, you can help guide your child toward more positive and empathetic behaviors by addressing the issue promptly and implementing effective strategies.

If you feel your child is responsible for bullying another, rest assured you are in the right place. Read on for practical help handling this serious situation.

Help for Parents Whose Children May Be Bullying Others

Bullying is a repeated pattern of behavior in which one individual uses a perceived imbalance of power to inflict pain on another individual. This pain can be physical, as it often is in bullying among boys, or psychological, as it frequently is among girls. To make matters worse, the problem of cyberbullying has become ubiquitous. 

Naturally, parents want what is best for their children, and we strive to teach them values such as empathy, kindness, and respect. It can be heartbreaking to suspect that our child may be bullying others.

It is essential to address these concerns right away and ensure that we steer our children toward healthier interactions that do not have adverse effects on our child’s peers.

So, what should you do if you think your child is the bully?

Teaching Your Child Not to Bully Others

Teach conflict resolution and assertive communication. 

Anger or frustration may drive bullying behavior. Help your child develop healthier ways of expressing themselves by explicitly teaching conflict resolution skills. Teach them simple techniques such as practicing accountable talk, finding compromises, and respecting boundaries. These skills can change the rest of their lives.

Encourage empathy and understanding. 

Empathy is a crucial trait to nurture in all children. Teach empathy by asking them to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and consider how their actions might affect others. Ask questions like, “How do you think your classmate felt when you said/did that?” Help them understand the consequences of their actions and the importance of treating others with kindness and respect.

Set clear expectations and values. 

One good way to establish clear expectations regarding acceptable behavior for your child is to have a set of official family values. You can emphasize empathy, inclusivity, and understanding by discussing the values you uphold in your home and beyond. Reinforce the message that bullying behavior is never acceptable and explain the consequences it can have on both the victim’s and perpetrator’s lives.

How You Can Help

Observe, listen, and communicate.

First, pay close attention to your child’s behavior and be open to listening when others raise concerns. Notice any significant changes, such as increased aggression, new friends, or sudden secrecy. Talk to your child and provide a safe space for them to share their thoughts and experiences without fear of judgment.

Collaborate with the school.

One necessary step is to reach out to the school directly. Teachers and administrators can provide valuable insights into your child’s behavior and shed new light on the situation. By working together with the school, you can develop a proactive plan to address the issue appropriately. 

Role modeling and positive reinforcement.

Children learn proper behavior by observing their parents. Look at your behavior and consider how you react to challenging situations. Model kindness, empathy, and respectful communication in your interactions with others. Additionally, praise and reinforce positive behaviors your child displays, emphasizing your family’s values.

Seek professional guidance if needed.

If bullying behavior persists, it may be time to seek professional guidance. A child psychologist or counselor’s experience in behavioral issues can provide further insights, support, and strategies to address the underlying causes of your child’s behavior.

Contact Us

At Advanced Behavioral Health, we understand bullying happens, and parents can get overwhelmed. We care about your child’s mental well-being and can offer ways to cope with inappropriate peer behavior.

Our team of qualified mental health professionals is skilled at guiding children toward becoming compassionate individuals who treat others with dignity and respect. 

You can call us at 301-345-1022 or reach out to us online. One of our team members will help you find the care you need.

When you think of the well-being of a child, you first think of basic needs: food, water, and shelter. Once these needs are met, however, it’s crucial for a child to have emotional and social wellness as well. In this article, we will explore the impact social wellness has on the overall health of a child and great ways for children to garner social support in their lives.

It comes as no surprise that as human beings, we all need connection with others, no matter what stage of life we are in. In fact, having social support is a social determinant of health (SDOH) that significantly impacts the health of an individual. After spending the last few years in and out of isolation due to the Covid-19 outbreak, social support is more important now than ever before. Having social support means having family members and friends you can talk to and seek advice from when life feels challenging and overwhelming. Knowing you’re not alone in your life journey, especially as a child, creates a sense of belonging and empowerment throughout one’s life.

4 Types of Social Support

Emotional Support. This type of support lets you know that people care about you and have empathy for your experiences. Emotional support often looks like people checking in on you to let you know they’re thinking of you, and that they are there if you need anything. As a parent, make sure your child knows you can be a sounding board for them. If you have family members who can also show up for your children in this way, even better!

Practical Help. This type of support is when people give you something tangible or offer a service to help you out. This could be in the form of money, making food when you are sick, or helping to pack when moving. Having family and friends show up in this way shows your child what it looks like to be present for people you love.

Sharing Points of View. This type of support can often come in the form of affirmations and encouragement. For example, pointing out your child’s strengths to them and reminding them they can do anything they put their mind to. It can also look like sharing another perspective if they are being hard on themselves. For example, if they are angry with themselves after receiving a bad grade on a test, you can help them see it as a learning experience and a way for them to grow.

Sharing Information. This type of support is when someone shares what they’ve learned from their own life experiences. For example, if another parent has a child who struggles with socializing, they can share some tips and tricks they’ve learned to help their child find and create social support.

The Importance of Social Groups and Extended Support

Children who are connected to their family, friends, and people in their community have opportunities to learn how to speak, share, and get along with others. When your child feels connected to people in your neighborhood, it often allows them to feel physically safe which can alleviate stress and worry. Simply riding bikes, going on walks, and saying hello to neighbors with your kids can create this sense of security for them.

In addition to engaging with your neighbors, getting involved in local organizations can also create social support for your child. Signing up for a sports team, musical theater, art class or summer camp are all great ways to help your child meet new friends and learn important social skills that can carry them through their lives.

Tips for Helping Kids Make Community Connections:

Spend time outside in your neighborhood playing on the playground, going to a local farmer’s market, or scheduling a playdate with neighborhood kids.

Show your kids that connection is a two-way street. If your neighbors or friends go out of town, offer to get their mail, or water their plants and take your child with you when you go. This will show your child how you show up for people you care about.

Make sure you make time for socializing with friends as well. Your child looks to you first and foremost for how they should act and live their own life.

Encourage your child to step out of their comfort zone and do something they may be scared to do. As a parent, it’s your job to push them into something social for their own well-being at times.