My child is using bullying behaviour

Children who use bullying behaviours need support to learn better ways of relating to others.

What can I do?

Stay calm and learn more about your child's behaviour so that any bullying behaviours can be addressed. It can be upsetting to be told that your child has bullied others. Bullying is complex and changing. Children can do the bullying in one situation and be targeted by bullying in another.

Talk with your child

Discuss with your child why they might be behaving this way. Try to understand why they may be behaving in this way. Think about any issues or problems your child might be experiencing.

Explain why bullying is unacceptable

Help them understand what it is like for the person being bullied.

Ask them how they would feel if they were being bullied.

Make clear rules and consequences for their behaviour

Acknowledge appropriate behaviour and be consistent when dealing with inappropriate behaviour.

Consider other resources

Consider enrolling your child in a group program that helps children to manage their behaviour, learn appropriate social skills and relate in more positive ways with other people.

Seek professional help and support if you feel that your child's bullying behaviour is part of a bigger behavioural or health problem.

Consider what's going on at home

Does your child see good examples of how to deal with issues and resolve differences with others at home?

Have any major events taken place recently to upset your child (parents separated, death in the family, significant illness in the family, or siblings bullying your child)?

Increase supervision of your child when they are with other children.

For younger children, show them how to join in with other children in a friendly way:

  • first observe a game and the other children
  • look for a natural break in the game for joining in
  • choose a person with a friendly face and ask them if you can join in
  • praise your child when they play cooperatively with others.

Talk with the school

Discuss the behaviours with the school. A consistent and co-operative approach by both the home and school is important.

More information

For more information, see: