5 signs that your child is a bully

February 06, 2017
  • 5 signs that your child is a bully
    1 / 7 5 signs that your child is a bully

    You just saw your four-year old forcefully push another child off the swing and then happily climb onto it himself.

    You are distraught: You love your child but not his bullying behaviour.

    Before showing anger, disappointment or even embarrassment, ask yourself the following questions. 

    Related: 5 school problems you should not ignore

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  • 1. Does bullying occur at home?
    2 / 7 1. Does bullying occur at home?

    If a child is raised in a family where aggression occurs regularly, he is likely to behave this way, too.

    Related: Primary 6 bully kicks P5 boy, sprays him with soya sauce

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  • 2. Has your child been bullied?
    3 / 7 2. Has your child been bullied?

    Maybe he is on the receiving end of teasing or physical assaults from his elder siblings. 

    If so, he might vent his anger by bullying others at the playground. 

    Related: My younger child bullies siblings

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  • 3. Is he allowed to release tension at home?
    4 / 7 3. Is he allowed to release tension at home?

    You can’t have him hitting and shouting at everyone in the family. 

    But if the child is not permitted to express any frustration, he may turn to bullying others as an outlet for these negative feelings.

    Related: Is my child a bully?

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  • 4. Is he always at the bottom of the family pecking order?
    5 / 7 4. Is he always at the bottom of the family pecking order?

    It could be that your preschooler feels powerless and weak at home because everyone else seems to enjoy more choice and influence. 

    Perhaps bullying makes your child feel tough and powerful for once.

    Related: Bully-proof your kid: Here’s how 

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  • 5. Do other kids in the preschool bully?
    6 / 7 5. Do other kids in the preschool bully?

    While “They all do it too, Mum” is not an acceptable excuse for misbehaviour, it’s always worth checking out if his friends are also anti-social and aggressive.

    Children copy one another, and he might have started bullying so as to remain acknowledged by them.

    Related: Is your child being bullied at school? Here’s how to find out

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  • Ways to resolve the situation
    7 / 7 Ways to resolve the situation

    Understanding your child’s motivation will direct you towards the best course of action to resolve the situation. Here’s a five-step guide:

    Discuss your concerns with preschool staff
    Talk to his teachers and explain that you saw him bully another child. Draw their attention to it so they remain vigilant and take action to stop his behaviour.

    Tell your child you saw what he did 
    Your four year-old might think you are unaware of his action. Point out that you saw him at it and that this behaviour is unacceptable.

    Explain you have spoken to his teachers
    He will be shocked and embarrassed that you and his teachers know about it. That’s likely to discourage further bullying.

    Encourage him to think of the victim 
    He may never have thought about the impact of his aggression on other children – he might simply see the incident as funny. Discuss how a victim feels.

    Let him know you will watch closely from now on 
    Once he knows that you are aware of his bullying – and that you and his teachers will keep one another informed about this – it will deter him from acting this way.

    Related: 4 ways to respond to bullying

    (Photos: 123RF.com) 

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