“Research has found that children who bully may have poor academic performance and risk developing depression,” she explains. “In the long run, aggressive behaviour puts them at risk of poor pro-social skills, smoking and alcohol use, and delinquency.”
What can you do? Hearing that your child is bullying other children can be upsetting or embarrassing, but it’s important to remain calm.
Children who bully have difficulty controlling their aggression and need to see you model good ways of handling conflicts.
Desiree advises: “Talk to your child and check if he or she bullied because she felt sad, angry, lonely or insecure due to major changes at home or at school.”
Help your child recognise her anger signals, and tell her to stop and walk away when she feels angry.
Seek help from the school counsellor if you need support in teaching your child anger management strategies.
It’s also a good idea to reduce your child’s exposure to violent shows, cartoons and games.
And you can go to websites such as www.bullyfree.sg, which has activities and videos that parents can use to discuss bullying with their children.