What Would You Do If Your Child Was the Bully in School?

Updated on October 13, 2011
S.R. asks from Oak Lawn, IL
15 answers

Watching the news last night something came up of kids bullying...normally the kids that are being bulled at are affected. I was hearing that more and more kids are committing suicide due to this problem.
Don't the parents of the bullyies know that they are doing this to other kids?
What would you do if you found out your kid was the bully?

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So What Happened?

We always here about the kid that committed suicide because of a bully...but we never hear the other side of the story. What happens to the bully? I always wonder if they ever feel any remorse, guilt...what about the parents?

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answers from Detroit on

ETA: Clarity

If it were me, I would do whatever I could to instill emapthy in my child so he/she knew what their words or actions did to other kids.

As for parents of bullies, what people have told me is parents don't always discipline their kids or they'll take their side no matter what. The worse the kid, the more this is likely. I've seen it first hand. Along the same vein, if the kid get away with it, they might think they're in the right to behave the way they do.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Minneapolis on

I think "bullying" is environmental and the reason so many parents do not hear about it, is because "everyone" is doing it. It has gotten to the point that teachers can't single out just one person as the "bully."

The environment at school needs to change. There are so many factors that lead to bullying. It isn't just a certain type of kid that gets bullied or is doing the bullying. Kids just aren't learning the art of kindness and empathy any more and that means school is becoming a hostile environment that is no longer nurturing for anyone.

How can adults be so surprised? Just turn on the news and it's full of adult bullies (the parents of these kids) getting in trouble for road rage, attacking someone's ex with bleach at a store, defacing property, threatening co-workers, stealing, robbing and so on.

As a culture we're losing the art of kindness.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

If my child was the bully?!?!? HOLY SMOKES BATMAN!!! I would come unglued. I would put my kid in counseling to find out why he would need to do such a thing. It is NOT tolerated in our home.

My son, Greg, was bullied by a boy he stood up to for making fun of a girl in Kindergarten...his mom was clueless - My boy is so sweet and perfect...I can't see him doing this...it took 4 years - yes, I feel horrible about this - but 4 years to get it stopped. No one ever saw it happen until the other child purposefully tripped my son who then hit his head on the wall and we threatened (it wasn't idle) a law suit. The mother was mortified that "her baby had done such a thing."...he was suspended from school and removed from the classroom. The parents ended up moving the following year.

So if my kids were the bully - I would ask how Greg liked it when it happened to him....he didn't.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I doubt the parents know, I doubt the bullies know they are bullies. That was one the strange things I realized at my first class reunion. They were all how ya doing!!! I was thinking you made my life living hell!!!!

Didn't amount to much mind you.

I don't think it is possible for my kids to be bullies, I raised them to be the opposite. If because of some alien abduction they turned out to be one anyway they would be grounded for life and put into therapy. I have no compassion for bullies but they have some pretty messed up lives.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I really think kids that Bully have their own HUGE issues, To have to be mean to feel important??!! That's got to suck. I would bet their home lives have a lot to do with the fact that they are bullying in the first place. So it's easy for a lot of us to sit here and say we would kick some patootie etc, but that's because we care in the first place, we are involved and we are teaching our children how to get along. It's the ones that aren't that end up the parents of bullies. And as to your question, don't the parents Know???? I doubt they want to admit it to themselves. It's easier to pretend they don't see it. very very sad.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

It would not be tolerated - period.

I was a mean girl in high school - but then the tables were turned and I spent a year being horribly teased and tormented by kids that had once been my friends. It was so unbelievably hard. I used to think about suicide and wonder what I could do to get them to like me again.

Then - one day - I just had enough. I was tired of trying so hard to make these people like me that I stopped - and realized there were a lot of other people around that I had never given a chance because they didn't fit "the mold" of cool or popular.

At that point I decided I would never be a mean girl again - and if I ever had kids it would NOT BE TOLERATED - PERIOD.

So far I haven't had to worry about it too much - my kids are still pretty little - but if I ever find out they are doing anything that is cruel or exclusionary there will be hell to pay. My goal is to have kids that are respectful to ALL - barring perceived coolness or non-coolness.

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answers from Austin on

I answered a similar question a while ago, and here was my answer:

I would say that my son does hurt other kids(and their feelings) but does not have the social skills to understand what he is doing. He has a behavior plan at school and is supposed to be getting extra help as part of his speech therapy.
Four years ago, a girl would kick him during lunch. Three years ago, a boy broke one of his toys. Two years ago, a classmate would hit him and run away. So now, every time he sees them, thinks about them, or sees another kid who reminds him of them, he tries to hit them or says they're mean and they're his frenemies and he wants to change schools so he doesn't have to be near them. He does not understand that they have moved on and changed and by constantly insulting them, he's now the bully. He has also gotten upset and tried to trip other kids because they did not recycle or tie their shoes when he told them to.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Bullies don't just stem from nowhere.......usually they have insecurity issues or low self-esteem/self-worth. If I had a child that came out to be the "Bully", I would look into these issues. Perhaps, by instilling some self-worth and a positive self-image, the bulling will subside.

Hope this helps!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I was bullied for three years during Junior High and High School. My sophomore year I finally snapped and kicked some butt. Never got bullied after that. During the time I was being bullied, I was very shy, withdrawn, never wanted to be center of attention, and I was a loner because I didn't trust anyone. I even went as far as telling the counselor at my school in 8th grade. He didn't believe me. So I was alone. My Mom was so pissed off, moreso at me because she basically made me stand up for myself. Made things worse for me at school, but she did plant that seed in me that I would probably have to stand up for myself and fight if I wanted those girls to leave me alone.
Anyway, I am very sensitive to this subject, and if I found out my son was being thee bully, I will wring his neck!!! Figurative speaking of course. I will not tolerate it, and there will be consequences here at home, and I will also make him do some community time at school. Hopefully what I instill in him now, now that he's going to be 7 years old, he won't be that way. I won't tolerate my son being bullied or tolerate him being thee bully. If I'm at his school and I see another child being bullied, I will stand up for that child too and I will make sure that child stays safe the rest of his/her school years.
When I was being bullied I never thought of suicide. I had a very rough time. The girls that bullied me lived across the street and the other around the corner from me. They would call my house and tell my mom to kiss me good night because it will be the last night she sees me. They would throw eggs on our car, follow me off the bus, taunt me at school by throwing food at me, push me, call me names etc. I feel as though in today's time, we have to be extremely careful, especially now that kids are carrying weapons to school. So I have to make sure that my son knows if he is being bullied, to not say anything, to walk away, and go straight to one of the teachers, or principal and also tell me and his daddy.

Last year when my son was in kindergarten, he had a little friend he played with and got along with well. His little friend had his lunch pail snatched out of his hand by another kid (same age). That little friend ended up pinching that other child who took his lunch pail. He got into trouble for pinching and the other kid got into trouble for taking his lunch pail. I was starting to be friends with his mother and connected with her on facebook. She is a paralegal and her husband is a police officer. She told this story on facebook and included that if she were in that position, she would PUNCH the other kid. I came UNglued! She tried to say that her son got unfairly punished and that him pinching that other child was merited. I rebutted her and said NO it wasn't and explained my position on that. She even had another one of her friends who is a teacher explain to her about the 'no tolerance' policy that schools are now trying to enforce. She still can't see it. I then knew that with her attitude on this subject we would not get along at all.
So if I ever find out that either of my two sons are being bullies at school, I will surely nip that right in the bud immediately. :-)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I think it is important to understand that bullying does not only hurt the victim, but also stunts the social and emotional development of the bully.

Yeah, I would discipline her, but it would be more important for me to actually help her see how wrong and hurtful her behavior is and how to be a better person. I mean who would want their child to grow up to be a mean person...?

I would want to know if my daughter was a bully or a mean girl and I would hope that I could work with the kid that she bullied, the parents of the child and the school to help my daughter learn a compassionate and appropriate approach to navigating social groups.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I am so paranoid about my little guy's feelings and struggle to know how to handle him whenever he is upset now and he's 2!!! Right now I would like to believe that my son couldn't bully someone, but I KNOW that that is just asking for trouble.

If my son were the bully and I found out- man! That would be a bad day in both our lives!

As for what happens to some of the bullies- do they feel remorse- get in trouble- etc... did you hear about the girl out east (her last name was Prince I think). She killed herself after being bullied at school and now the kids that were bullying her are on trial for manslaughter I believe. They claim they didn't do anything, but the prosecution has text messages, FB and other evidence that says otherwise.

This subject is already freaking me out and my kids are years away from actual school!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

i don't really think it's the parents that would nip it in the bud and deal with it firmly that are the parents of these kids...i feel (i could be wrong, of course), but i FEEL that these are the parents who have never been great parents. it's not an overnight thing...it's a lifetime of either being indulged, or abused, or neglected, or traumatized, or what have you. a lot of years of anger and pain. byt the time they realize it (IF they ever do), it's too late and they are so buried under years of damaged child/parent relationships, i doubt they'd do ANYthing. i know i am teaching my son that's not how we treat people (not by a LONG shot). if (when) i hear he is being rude or physical or "not nice" he is disciplined. and because of that, 99% of the time he is courteous, giving, shares, and does as he is asked. of course....he's only 5 so not having been in that situation, i can't really say. just my thoughts.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I asked a question similar to this, with the thought that with all the concern about our kids being bullied, there HAD to be some bully-parents out there and at least some of them were probably aware of it. Just simple logic. Some moms were honest enough to share their experiences and you can look at their answers here:


I truly doubt that my son (at 8.5) is a bully. He is always sticking up for other kids, helping younger kids at school, generally likes nearly every kid he meets, makes friends easily and told me he plays with two autistic kids at recess a few times per week "because no O. else plays with them" (his words).
But you NEVER know!
IF I was ever told by another parent or teacher, etc. that my son had bullied their child, I would create the circumstance that would allow for a face-to-face apology immediately (in front of the other parents) and we would be having a looooooong talk with him about respect.

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answers from Orlando on

I just watched an episode of intervention where the guy was one of the kids who bullied the Colombine shooters. And this guy felt so bad after what happened he started using drugs. So it shows at least some feel bad. Now if it were my kid and he was bulling someone i would be devistated if something happened to the child or they did something to others like that.



answers from Chicago on

This is a broad generalization, so take it with a grain of salt, but the parents of bullies are not the same parents that are concerned about this topic. Bullying is a learned behavior for the most part. These kids don't just become this way on their own. They have role models that teach them how to treat other people. And they treat others how they see others being treated, and how they themselves are treated. There is more going on with bullies than just their own bad behavior. Parents, teachers and other adults need to step up and take some responsibility for being good role models.

If my son turned out to be a bully, I'd be shocked. And we'd take steps to change his behavior. But we are already teaching him at 2yo to be sensitive and empathetic to others. Of course he's just 2, but we see him understanding what we teach him more and more each day.

I see too many people yelling at their kids and using fear as a discipline tactic. How do you think those kids will be relating to others on the playground? Parents have to realize that every moment they are with their kids becomes a teaching moment, whether they want it to be or not—kids are constantly learning and picking things up. I think some people forget that.

And then there are those other kids who grow up with a sense of entitlement, who think they are truly better than others—who think some people truly aren't worth as much as they are. Hmm, where do you think they get that from?

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