Blog Parents Parenting Tips What to Do When Your Child is A Bully

What to Do When Your Child is A Bully


Bullying is becoming a grave issue in schools. It is an ongoing issue and is becoming more complex as it extends into online spaces (also known as cyberbullying).

No parent wants to hear that their child is a bully. It is almost unthinkable to believe that your child is capable of inflicting harm on others.

But bullying is a serious issue for the instigator, and it is vital to address the behaviour as soon as possible to help your child correct it.

Here are some ways to deal with your child if he/she is a bully.

Understand the situation


If you have received complaints of your child bullying other students, you should first talk to them about the situation. Put aside all your emotions and do your best to first understand the situation.

Make it clear that although it is an issue, you are open to hearing your child’s side of the story.

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This shows that you are aware of the situation and are concerned about them. Being agitated or defensive may push your child away from you.

Getting to the root of the problem


Talk to your child to understand why they are bullying. This way, you can better help them correct their behaviour.

Here are some potential reasons why children bully:

Here are some potential reasons why children bully:

1. They are getting bullied at home or in school
Studies show that children who have been bullied before are more likely to become bullies themselves.

2. They want to fit in with a clique who is picking on another peer
Children do this to be accepted by the group. In some cases, the fear of not being accepted or becoming the next target lead children to bully in groups.

3. They do not fully understand how their behaviour hurts others
Some children do not understand the concept of empathy, so they are less inclined to treat others nicely. They are also less likely to feel bad after doing something hurtful to someone.

4. They have a medical condition
Studies show that children with autism and attention deficit or attention deficit hyperactivity disorders are four times more likely to bully than other children. If you suspect this, do seek professional help early.

Address the behaviour


I am sure we all know the first step to solving a problem is to admit that there is a problem.

This can be a hard pill for many parents to swallow. However, addressing the issue early is extremely important when it comes to bullying.

Here are some ways you can address their bullying:

1. Persuade/encourage your child to own up to their bullying
2. Make it clear that bullying is not okay and cannot be tolerated
3. Some children may deem bullying as “play”, so be sure to tell them the difference.

Help them understand the consequences


Bullying is emotionally, mentally and sometimes physically damaging to the victims. Very often, bullying will go on for a long time as the victims may be too afraid to speak out.

If your child is a bully, they need to understand and know that their behaviours have consequences.

Consequences are useful to let bullies know that their behaviours are not acceptable.

Removing privileges, enforcing a curfew, or setting time aside for self-reflection are some ways for them to think about what they have done.

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Taking action

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At home

Many research has shown that people can become desensitized to violence or aggressive content when they are heavily exposed to it in the media.

In that case, they are likely to reciprocate such behaviours at school. So, it is important to start fostering a positive home environment.

Here are some ways to create a positive home environment:

1. Increase supervision at home
2. Praise efforts to stop non-violent behaviour
3. Monitor what kind of shows your child watches
4. Pay attention to who they hang out with

At school

Notify your child’s teachers to look out for any signs of problematic behaviour from your child.

Follow up with them regularly to monitor any improvement or deterioration in your child’s behaviour.

Ask for help


There is only so much that we can do as parents, and there are times when we need the advice of professionals.

If you need help in understanding and dealing with bullying behaviour, seek out psychologists, your child’s doctor, and coaches.


When dealing with your child’s bullying behaviour, do not downplay its effect on your child and the victim. It needs to be addressed and changed. Every child deserves to feel safe in school.

We hope that this article has helped you!

Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.