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How to Help a Child Stop Bullying Other Kids

Courtesy of Positive Coaching Alliance

Children or teens who have been exposed to trauma and violence are more likely to bully others or be bullied

If a child is either being bullied or exhibiting bullying behaviors, it can be important to also take stock of any past traumas, as strategies to help them can be different.

What is bullying?

The three major indicators of bullying are behavior that:

  • Is unwanted and intentionally aggressive

  • Involves an imbalance of power between two people who are not friends

  • Is repeated over time

What can I do if my child is bullying others?

This Playbook contains many details to support these 4-steps, such as key points for talking to your child, examples of counterproductive advice, resources for helping your child, tips for speaking with the school, and more.

  • Prepare to talk to your child
  • Talk to your child
  • Work with your child to develop empathy
  • Work with the school and other supports

Examples of how your child can make amends to the child who was bullied:

  • Clean up, repair, or pay for any property they damaged

  • Apologize, either in person or by writing a letter, to the person who was bullied

  • Do a good deed for the person who was bullied or for others in your community

  • Stand up for someone in the future who is being bullied

"Students who are both targets of bullying and engage in bullying behaviors are at greater risk for both mental health and behavior problems than students who bully or are only bullied." - National Center for Educational Statistics

Actionable Age-Appropriate Resources

We have options for your situation:

  • How types of bullying vary by age
  • Insights into bullying across different gender identities
  • Details on bias-based bullying
  • Identifying cyberbullying
  • Toolkits for addressing cyberbullying
  • Details regarding the bullying ecosystem
  • 4-step action plan if your child is bullying others
  • Recommendations for preparing to speak with the school
  • Counseling resources
  • Important definitions
  • FAQs when involving the school
  • Conversation guides and examples for different age groups