Parenting a Bully: What to do when your daughter is the bully

It usually begins with a phone call from school or another parent saying your daughter is bullying their child. Your immediate reaction is to jump on the defense. But all children, including yours, are capable of bullying. Bullying behavior can be learned through tv shows, media, other kids at school, and sometimes family dynamics. The good news? Bullying behavior can be unlearned. This change begins with you at home. Parenting a bully can be hard but you can do it with the right tools and mindset.

  1. Address the situation. Make sure you have gathered all the details regarding the bullying incident. Step back from the situation and assess your child’s behavior before reacting or enforcing consequences. Talk to the other parties involved (i.e. the school or other parents) and let them know you want to work together to create a peaceful outcome.
  2. Acknowledge the behavior. Have a one-on-one talk with your child. Allow her to tell her side of the story and explain why she felt she needed to respond to the situation the way she did. Your job is to listen to understand rather than to blame. You should keep a calm, firm tone and explain to your child that bullying will not be tolerated. Set the expectations that respect and kindness should be practiced at home and at school.
  3. Enforce consequences. The consequences of your child’s behavior will vary depending on the circumstances, but nonetheless, your child should know that they are held accountable for their actions. Consequences may mean revoking tv/internet time or other privileges that your child values. This is also a great opportunity to create a teachable moment for your child. Have her write an apology letter or a paragraph about what it may feel like to be in the victim’s shoes.
  4. Be intentional with the other parties. The best outcome is going to occur when you keep your word about working with the other party to create the best solution. Parenting is hard. It is OK to lean on others for support to address a situation. No one can relate to the struggle more than school personnel and other parents. Work together and create an effective plan to stop your child’s bullying behavior.
  5. Help your child sharpen their social and emotional skills. Mentor and motivate your child to build conflict-resolution skills. Self-awareness, self-management, resilience, social agility, and responsible decision-making are all important skills to address in the learning process. Seek after-school programs and extracurricular activities that can help your child to build positive relationships. Improving these skills while your daughter is still young will benefit her in the future!


Asheville Academy: A great way to help your daughter

 Asheville Academy is a program specifically designed for young girls with behavioral issues. This program takes a therapeutic approach towards addressing young girls’ behavioral problems. Through social-emotional coaching, learning new skills, and teaming up with parents, the program helps girls learn to manage their emotions and improve social skills. Young women leave this camp feeling empowered and well-equipped to interact with the world in a positive way. We can help your daughter today!
Contact us at 800-264-8709

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