Saturday, March 26, 2011

Helping the Bully

     We usually think of the bully as someone who should be punished for his bullying behavior, we don't have any desire to help him. When the bully is a child, however, without help to change that behavior, the bully has a good chance to grow into a criminal lifestyle. One study showed that 60% of boys who were bullies in middle school had at least one criminal conviction by age 24. Not good.

     I am aware of one elementary school counselor taking a child who had made remarks about killing another person and working with him to help develop compassion and understanding for that person. It is too early to know how that child will turn out, but I would bet money that he now has a better chance of escaping an antisocial lifestyle.

     Here are some ways to help the bully:
  • Don't minimize the problem, treat it seriously.
  • Don't believe everything your child tells you--check out the facts.
  • Try to find out why your child is exhibiting bullying behavior, get professional help if necessary.
  • Let your child know that bullying behavior is not tolerated.
  • Don't model bullying behavior, such as threats, slaps, etc.
This is the last of my series on bullying behavior. It has become a special interest of mine since a bully became a  part of my novel Address Unknown.

Have you had an experience with bullying? I would be interested in hearing about it.

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