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Four Tips to Keep Your Child from Becoming a Bully

It seems like every week there is another story about a schoolyard bully torturing his prey, sometimes to the point where the victim commits suicide. Schools, victims’ rights groups and community groups are creating awareness of the problem and asking adults to get involved. Many of tomorrow’s criminals begin as today’s bullies, so curbing your child’s aggressive tendencies can pay dividends later.

  1. 1. Encourage your child to do community service. When people help and serve others less fortunate than they are, they develop an attitude of caring. A child who volunteers to help the weaker segments of society learns that being vulnerable is not an invitation for scorn or abuse.
  2. 2. Teach by example. Children learn a lot from adults — both good and bad behaviors. If your children see you mistreating each other or household help, service providers or other people that you interact with, they will imitate your words and actions. If your kids see you coming to the aid of people in need, or victims of bullying, they learn to stick up for the underdog.
  3. 3. Discuss your child’s feelings. Many bullies act out because they are seeking an outlet for pent-up negative energy. When you talk to your kids about their emotions, you give them a safe place to vent. You can use this opportunity to teach the value of empathy. If necessary, you can direct negative energy into positive outlets such as sports or physical training.
  4. 4. Encourage kids to have a variety of friends. Most bullies don’t act alone. They usually have supporters or enablers who encourage their behavior. Kids who have different types of friends are exposed to a variety of viewpoints and personalities, making them more understanding of others and less tolerant of aggressive behavior.

If your child is facing charges for acts of bullying, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you navigate the court system and ensure your child is well represented.

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