Nurturing Compassion: Supporting Parents When Their Child Is Bullying Others

Nurturing Compassion: Supporting Parents When Their Child Is Bullying Others

Discovering that your child is engaging in bullying behaviour can feel challenging and upsetting experience for any parent/carer. However, it’s crucial to approach this situation with empathy, understanding, and a commitment to fostering positive change.

In this blog, we’ll explore ways in which parents/guardians can support and guide their children if they discover that their child is bullying another.


Hearing that your child might be bulling another person can feel deeply upsetting. It is common for many parents to not want to think that there is a problem, and not take the accusations seriously. It takes courage to be open. So, take these concerns seriously, and identify that your child needs help. This will help them longer in the long run.

It is important to remember that everyone is capable of bulling behaviour. You are not the first parent/carer to face this, nor will you be the last. You have a key role in helping them learn, and change their behaviour.

Open Communication:

The first step is to create an environment of open communication. Approach your child without judgment, ensuring they feel comfortable discussing their actions. Ask open-ended questions to understand the motivations behind their behaviour and the dynamics involved. Spend time understanding from their perspective what has occurred. Sometimes children and young people can be pulled into bullying behaviour by friends or the wider peer group. It is also important to make sure that they are bullying in retaliation of bullying they have suffered. Make it clear that your goal is to support and guide them towards making better choices.

It is important that all children know what bullying is, and why it is wrong. It is also important that your child knows that they can talk to you about anything, so responding with compassion is important to maintaining conversations.

Remind them of their goodness.

People will often exhibit bullying behaviours as a coping mechanism when they are experiencing periods of stress or trauma, are being bullied themselves or potentially when they have low self-esteem and confidence. Remind your child of their goodness, and they are not defined by bullying behaviour. It is a behaviour (an unacceptable one) but not an identity.

Request support from School

If the incident has occurred in school environment and ask to speak with school for a meeting to get support. Request evidence if it is available (for example: if the alleged bullying is through the internet or phones).  Request a copy of the school anti-bullying and behaviour policy so you can ensure that you understand the agreed procedures.

Seek Professional Guidance:

Sometimes, the reasons behind a child’s bullying behaviour may be complex, and seeking professional guidance can be beneficial. A child psychologist or counsellor can provide insights into the underlying issues that may contribute to bullying. Working together with a professional can help parents develop strategies to address these issues effectively.

 Role model empathy:

Empathy is a crucial skill that can be cultivated. Encourage your child to consider the feelings of others and understand the impact of their actions. Engage in discussions about empathy, kindness, and the importance of treating others with respect. Share stories or examples that highlight the consequences and impact of bullying.

 Set Clear Expectations

Make it clear that bullying behaviour is unacceptable, and you do not tolerate such behaviour. Clearly communicate your expectations regarding their behaviour and the values you uphold as a family.

Encourage Positive Skills:

Help your child develop positive social skills and conflict resolution strategies. Role-playing scenarios can be an effective way to teach them alternative ways of responding to challenging situations. Encourage them to use words to express their feelings and concerns rather than resorting to bullying tactics. Young people can use bullying as a coping mechanism to stress, teach them how to recognise and manage stressors more effectively.

 Monitor Online Activity:

In today’s digital age, bullying can extend beyond physical interactions to online spaces. Monitor your child’s online activity and educate them about the importance of responsible and respectful behaviour on social media platforms and how to report online bullying. Establish guidelines for online conduct and foster a healthy online environment.

 Foster a Culture of Inclusivity:

Encourage a culture of inclusivity at home. Celebrate diversity, teach acceptance, and demonstrate through your actions the value of treating everyone with dignity and respect. A home environment that promotes inclusivity can positively influence your child’s behaviour outside the home.

Discovering that your child is engaging in bullying behaviour is undoubtedly a challenging situation. However, parents can play a crucial role in guiding their child towards more constructive and compassionate behaviour. By addressing the root causes of bullying, parents contribute not only to their child’s personal growth but also to the creation of a more empathetic and understanding society.

If you wish to speak with a member of our Children and Young People Therapy Team, email  Our services are delivered face to face from Manchester and York and available nationally online.

Supporting Your Child Through Bullying: A Parent’s Guide

Supporting Your Child Through Bullying: A Parent’s Guide

Children can engage in bullying for various reasons, for example this behaviour may serve as their coping mechanism for dealing with difficult situations. Whilst this can sometime help a little in understanding the other child’s behaviour, it never justifies or make bullying acceptable. Dealing with bullying is a very challenging experience for any child. As a parent or caregiver, it can feel very difficult to know what to do.

In this blog, we’ll explore the steps you can take to help your child or young person facing bullying.

Open Communication

The first step is to establish open communication with your child. Initiate a conversation and let them know you’ve noticed changes in their behaviour. Explain what the signs of bullying are and reassure them that you are there to listen and support them whenever they are ready to talk.

Listening and Support:

If your child does choose to open up, it’s essential to listen and offer support and comfort. Many children and young people may feel anxious, embarrassed, or upset about their experiences, and your understanding can make a world of difference. Remind them that bulling is not their fault, and you are here to support them.

Suggest Trusted Adults:

If your child isn’t comfortable talking to you about the bullying, let them know they can confide in another trusted adult. Emphasise that your support remains unwavering.

Contact the School:

In many cases, bullying occurs within the school environment. Reach out to the school to discuss your concerns with their teacher, head of year, or pastoral team. Schools typically have anti-bullying policies, request to see this and a meeting with the relevant staff member. Ensure that the meeting has tangible actions, make notes of what these are, and the timescales in which they will be done.

Most schools are committed to addressing bullying effectively, and in a timely manner. However, if you find that you are not making the progress that you had hoped with the school, you can write a formal letter to the Head of School or the Governors. If you are not getting the response you need, do not be afraid to escalate your concerns and request further meetings.

Reporting Online Bullying:

When bullying occurs online through social media or gaming platforms, it’s important to take action. You can report these incidents to the respective platforms, as they often have rules and mechanisms in place to combat online bullying. You can also request the removal of bullying content shared online. Support your young person to use social media safely.

Keep a diary:

It can be very helpful and important to keep a detailed log of what your child has reported, and when. Also you can list what you have also observed. This can be a written list, photographs, screenshots of texts etc. It is helpful if your child can share any evidence with you, you could ask them directly to contribute to a log of events.

Encourage them to spend time doing things they enjoy:

Being bullied is awful and can feel all consuming.  Understandably a young person might want to retreat. Help them make time for things that they enjoy, find peers who treat them well, and do things as a family that help your child connect and relax.

Bullying as a Hate Crime:

If your child is being bullied based on a protected characteristic, it constitutes a hate crime and is against the law. In such cases, you could report it to the police either via phone (101) or online.

Seek Professional Help:

If you suspect that your child’s mental health is suffering due to the bullying, consider seeking professional help. Contact your GP, who can either refer your child to the necessary services or, if needed, recommend therapy to help manage their mental health.

Supporting a child or young person through the difficult experience of bullying is a critical responsibility. Open communication, active listening, and taking appropriate actions, such as involving the school or reporting online bullying, can make a significant difference. Remember that professional help is available for those who need it, and your support as a parent or caregiver can be a crucial source of strength during these challenging times.

We understand seeking therapy can be daunting for both you and your child and that taking the first step can be hard. We have a team of professional and friendly child therapists who can work together with you and your child to design a bespoke and flexible treatment which works best for them. Our children’s therapy services are available for children and teenagers aged 5 to 17, at our clinics in York, Manchester and online.

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