Warning signs your child may be bullying others and how to help

For any parent, it can be an alarming discovery to learn that your child is displaying bullying traits. Bullying is defined as repeated, aggressive behavior that can be physical, verbal, or relational, and approximately one in 10 children have bullied others. No one wants to hear that their child is bullying, however, there are identifying signals to be aware of and ways to help the child who is bullying.

"Recognizing the warning signs is an important first step in preventing bullying “explains Peter J. Goodman, author of the new children’s book series, "We're All Different But We're All Kitty Cats.” The books are designed for elementary-aged-children, to tackle common issues that they may encounter such as bullying, childhood fears, confidence, being different and making friends.

Warning signs indicating a child is at-risk for displaying bullying behavior:

  • Appears to enjoy feeling powerful, in control, dominating, or manipulating classmates.
  • Equates being powerful and respected with fear.
  • Skilled at sneaky behavior.
  • Blames others.
  • Exhibits little compassion.
  • Frequently on the defensive.
  • Seeks unusual amount of attention and attracts it through negative behavior.
  • Displays impulsivity and lack of coping skills.

Goodman has now bundled his popular book with an educational curriculum package, entitled “Bully Free Students Make Bully Free Classrooms,” which helps children identify and work through their emotions and feelings. The combined tools use cats as characters to help teach children about bullying and accepting others even if they have differences. “There is a real fear that the child bully, without the help to overcome the tendencies to bully, will grow up to become the adult bully, and have opportunities to do real harm,” affirms Goodman. “Redirecting these at-risk children, and providing them with the needed tools and coping mechanisms to take the positive route instead of the negative, would have an impact on our society.”

Helping the child who bullies others:

  • Notice and describe the bullying behavior in private without hesitation and in a firm voice.
  • At same time, communicate compassion and avoid bullying the child who bullies.
  • Teach anger management/relaxation skills, competition skills, and social skills.
  • Provide opportunities for child to shine and/or experience success.
  • Use consequences that include opportunities to practice new, more appropriate coping and social skills.
  • Provide private recognition of improved behavior.

The best means to prevent bullying is through awareness and education – equipping children with the tools and skills they need to recognize bullying, to protect themselves, and to help others. Parents should be teaching their children about respect, empathy, tolerance, self-confidence, and expressing feelings and emotions without the use of aggressive and physical means. Some of the most impacting lessons a child learns come from the example set by the parent and teacher, and with the proper education, the teaching process is easier and more successful. 

About dreamBIG Press dreamBIG Press is a publishing house that has created a series of children’s books titled We’re All Different But We’re All Kitty Cats. The books are designed for elementary-school-aged children, to tackle common issues that they may encounter such as bullying, childhood fears, confidence, being different, and making friends. Through the use of a cast of cats, the author helps children better understand those issues, and learn how to deal with them. The company was started by Peter J. Goodman, a multimedia children’s author and president of Gut Instinct Creative, an award-winning marketing communications company. For more information about dreamBIG Press or the book series, visit the site at: www.DreamBigPress.com.