Thank you for contacting Education.com with this parenting dilemma. Your son's situation is not terribly unusual at all. Many times without thinking about it, we treat others in a like fashion that they are treating us.
First of all educate him on the types of bullying that go on and identify which kind he is experiencing. Helping him recognize when he is being bullied and who is around when that occurs will aid in planning better ways to respond to those situations.
To help him feel safe prepare him with a plan that he can practice and follow each and every time he feels like he is being bullied.
It is likely that his "bullying behaviors" are the only way he knows to respond to these situations.
Since bullying others is not the way you want him to respond, you must teach him more socially acceptable and effective responses.
Since we do not know your child's age or specific examples, we recommend that you access one of many helpful publications that are available to address bullying. On that seems to be very helpful to parents is NO ROOM FOR BULLIES, by Jose Bolton, and Stan Graeve.
Pat, Crisis Counselor
Boys Town National Hotline
First of all, kudos to you for being so aware of your child's actions and so willing to accept what's going on. It is a tough situation for many parent to swallow, but the first step to eliminating the problem is recognizing it. And experts say that parental involvement is key to stopping the bullying cycle.
By taking steps like listening to your child, setting a good example, eliminating exposure to violent media, and being a "hands-on" parent, you can make major headway in stopping the problem.
Below, I'm inserting an article that contains other tips for parents in dealing with kids' bullying problem. Additionally, another member asked a similar question and received helpful tips from a bullying specialist and other members. I'm including a link to this parent's question below.
well maybe the person he is bulling used to bully him or maybe your doing something wrong to him cuz when most kids bully is because something is not going right at home or some one else is bulling him and he just wants to be cool
Revenge of those Bullied: Our Greatest Danger
The most dangerous bullies are those who have been bullied themselves. For every child that chooses to take his or her life to stop the torment, there are that many more stuffing their pain and then striking back. The violence of the vengeful is where the real danger lies.
Compared to students not bullied, those who continue to endure the trauma of being bullied show a higher rate of depression, anxiety, drugs and alcohol abuse, and school failure. Unfortunately, people bullied often internalize the putdowns and turn on themselves by kicking themselves for not being good enough. While the bully may eventually go away, the low self-esteem and internalized emotions of powerlessness and hopelessness do not. They often haunt the victim forever unless therapy has been successful. This is why we must take action now!