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What do you do when your kid IS the bully?!

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My almost six year old son is a bully!! I made the mistake of kind of brushing it off for a long time bc he has two older brothers so I just thought he'd grow out of it. When he tries to be mean to someone and they put him in his place it ends there. BUT...if a kid whines and tattles and reacts he goes in for the kill! Not physically , that's never happened except with his brothers. But he says really mean things. I punish him, I tell him he isn't going to have any friends, no one wants to play with a mean boy...,he says he doesn't care. Nothing has worked!!! Help!!!
by on Jul. 25, 2013 at 12:35 PM
Replies (11-20):
by on Jul. 26, 2013 at 3:50 PM

Sorry I read it wrong! I thought you meant he goes to dinner with dad after wiffle ball! Maybe instead of wiffle ball he has time with dad to talk about why he's not getting wiffle ball. Sorry!!

Quoting mamav2215:

I'd be REALLY careful with taking special time with his father away. Are you two not together? If you're not... that time with him is INCREDIBLY important, and even if you are together... losing special time with his dad is not what I would do. Maybe he loose wiffle ball and then goes to dinner with dad and discusses why he missed wiffle ball and how it makes him feel to miss it and what he needs to do differently. 

And anytime someone hurts his feelings use it as a way to show him how he makes people feel. 

Quoting SJerseyMom23:

I've def made him apologize. It's never happened at school or anything. Mostly in the neighborhood. I admit I'm the queen if idle other two boys are the polar opposite and would never be mean to a friend. I have incentivized, taken even special time with dad away (he looks fwd to after dinner wiffle ball) . It all has only worked for a short time.

by Gold Member on Jul. 26, 2013 at 7:02 PM
i would look at the play dynamics btw him and his brothers first. you may need to help rewrite how they interact with each other. then you can address how your child speaks to you. your husband. and then it will start to improve how he interacts with other kids. and you say it doesnt happen at school but if he is doing it in the neighborhood some of those kids go to school with him. he needs to be held accountable but cant truly do that until he learns what is acceptable and where his limits are. as you noted you are not consistent and so you must change your ways too.
by Amanda on Jul. 26, 2013 at 10:46 PM

Have you taken him to a psychologist to find out the root of his anger?

by on Jul. 27, 2013 at 8:03 AM

I have talked to his brothers about their treatment of him and did my best to make them aware that the things they say to him "just joking" he doesnt understand and goes and treats others that way. And someone mentioned changing "wiffle ball" time with dad into talking with dad when he gets in trouble.  I love this idea!

I never really linked anger to the problem bc he didnt seem angry. But after reading your suggestions I did talk to him about that and we made a deal if someone was upsetting him or anything he could just say he needed a break and go sit in his room-not in trouble-just for a break.  And i could call a break time for him, too.  We will see if that works.  If we cant nip this in the bud once summer is over I do plan to have him meet with the school counselor. 

**And yesterday I had 6 kids here and he was wonderful! Only two really short slip ups all day! I just showered him with accolades hoping he appreciates that attention more than negative attention. 

by on Jul. 27, 2013 at 8:11 AM

im not sure my oldest is only almost 5 &  we dont have any of this  yet. im  assuming maybe he is being bullied by his brothers or another? or something else is going on bc  kids dont bully for  no reason. Id make sure there's NO bullying in your house  he cant  really learn its not ok  with other boys if his brothers are doing it.  he seems unhappy or is taking it out on others how he feels inside..

 id try to talk to him & find out why. if he " doesn't care" he just sounds unhappy or mad.. id look into it. & have NO tolerance   for it.. i hope you can help him work this out.

by Platinum Member on Jul. 27, 2013 at 8:22 AM
Turn the tables on him any you bully him. Give him a taste of his own medicine.
My daughter called a boy at school fat last year (she is in kindergarten) and it hurt his feelings. I sat her down and explained how all people deserve to feel goid about themselves and her words were hurtful. While we were having this talk I was drawing her a picture with her name on it. Lots of flowers and rainbows, etc. when we got done with the talk I asked her if she wanted the picture and she very enthusiastically said yes. I then crumpled it up and handed it to her. She got really sad. I told her that her actions were the same as me crumpling that paper. You can smooth it out but it will never be the same. I then made her wear it for the rest of the day until her dad got home and she had to tell him what happened.
I don't know if you can make that work for a boy, but it is a good visual image on how words can hurt
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by Member on Jul. 27, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Hmm, I've kind of had this problem - but not really. See - my eldest is special needs and if she wasn't being bullied she was being excluded - so she learnt that if she provoked them, she got attention. She wasn't bullying them as such - more annoying them, for attention. Now - this could have been nipped in the bud, had her teacher actually worked with the kids on giving her positive reinforcment, Nope. He encouraged all the class to bully her and to humiliate her - which caused further problems for the next 3 years we were in this town. I felt that she did not need to be punished at home, because she was already being punished for basically just taking up space at school. But in your case - I would definetley punish. I will say though - I am INCREDIBLY thankful that my daughter has a strong head on her shoulders with un adjustable morals - otherwise I am a 100% sure she would have either been pregnant, raped or murdered by now that's how desperate she was for her peers to like her. Kids can be so cruel.

by on Jul. 27, 2013 at 10:36 AM
if my son did that i would more then likely make him write an apology letter to the person and then have him tell you why he thought it was alright to do this. after that i would ground him from a week to were he could only come out of his room for his chores, eating, and use the bath room.that's what i would do!!!!
by Gold Member on Jul. 28, 2013 at 2:09 AM

i think at this age especially, it is important to talk with them, and not at them when trying to figure out what is going on with them. Take ques on what is going on. Give them extra attention and use that time to get information on what is going on. Like date nights. A lot of times, kids are acting out because they need more love. They don't know how to express it, and they need to be taught how to. Make charts of ways to express anger (do not use violence, not even hitting a pillow is advised anymore), hurt, pain, love, jealousy and disappointment. Put charts in his bedroom or make a binder for him. These things helped my youngest son. He is getting sooo much better. Also finding an outlet for him. Something he wants to do that is just for him and that he feels powerful in. Making a child feel powerful is an amazing tool to build self esteem and they wont feel the need to put others down.

by on Jul. 28, 2013 at 2:14 AM

 At the end of day, he is going to poke the wrong kid with the ol pinata stick. It is coming. When he comes to you crying, don't get on a teacher's butt, or scream to other parents. It is unfortunate what has happened and you have been honest about your child. Kudos to you. I am NOT being sarcastic. Really kudos for being honest. Take other ladies advice, and if it doesn't work.....well when he gets his butt beat, tell him, I told you so.

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