My son was being bullied and now is the one doing this. How can I change this behavior?
My son just turned 5 and has had a problem with a particular boy being a bully for the past 2 yrs. It got so bad this year that we spoke to the teachers about it after he was having outbursts at home and we figured out it seemed to be on the days when this child was being especially mean to him. The teachers did address the problem and decided he would be sent home, which he was a few times, if his behavior was out of line. Well now it seems that my son is the one that is out of control, pushing other kids, taunting, etc. All of these behaviors he knows are unacceptable in our home. I know kids and teachers get tired at the end of the year. We have been in the classroom the last couple of months for different activities and the entire class seems to be somewhat out of control compared to earlier. I have tried explaining to our son that his behavior is not nice and asked him if he likes it when others do those same things to him with him replying no. It still happens. And to boot he has gotten to where he doesn't like to apologize very easily either. Please can anyone give us a different approach for this? My husband and I are both adamantly against bullying and are willing to try reasonable methods to change this.
It is great that you are so open to suggestions on how to help your son work through this. There are two really great books that discuss options and methods to use in the home and at school. The first one, we feel, will help your son learn how to express himself with out losing control. It is called "Show Me Your Mad Face" by Connie J. Schnoes, Ph.D. The second is "No Room for Bullies" by Jose Bolton, Sr., Ph.D., L.P.C. and Stan Graeve, M.A.
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When you ask your son why he's doing this what does he say? A bullying child is often an angry child or a sad child- is he feeling angry or sad and what about? That question can sometimes get you to the root of the problem.
And it's not just about not being 'nice' when we bully - people can get hurt and even if not, there are consequences. Ask your son if he is so angry that he wants to hurt other children? And ask him if he is prepared to accept the consequences at school and at home if he continues to bully. Try to to give him other strategies to deal with his feelings- does he have friends in school? A bullying child can end up without any real friends in or out of school and perhaps that's already happened.