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Bullying: How to Help Your Child Who Bullies

British Columbia Specific Information

Bullying can happen in all kinds of situations. It can happen at school, as part of a sports team or club, or in your neighbourhood. Bullying can be physical, verbal, social, or even happen online. Regardless of what type of bullying is occurring, or where it is happening, recognizing bullying and what you can do to stop it are the same. Visit the BC Government – Bullying & Violence web page for information about keeping kids safe from bullying, what bullying looks like, how to know if your child is bullying or being bullied, and how to make bullying stop.

You may also call the Youth Against Violence Line toll-free at 1-800-680-4264 or email them at to speak to a Youth Against Violence Support Worker 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information, visit the Youth Against Violence Line website.


It can be hard to accept that your child may be bullying other children. But once you recognize the problem, you can help solve it by helping your child learn how their actions affect others. Being sensitive to others' feelings (empathy) is largely a learned skill that you can teach your child.

  • Take your child's actions seriously.

    Let your child know that bullying will not be tolerated. Set up and follow through with consequences, such as losing privileges.

  • Involve the school.

    Ask your child's teacher, school administrator, or school counsellor for help.

  • Talk to your child about the importance of understanding the feelings of others.

    Ask your child how they would feel as the target of bullying.

  • Supervise your child's activities.

    Know where you child is spending their time. Ask about community or school programs for after school.

  • Be a good role model.

    Show your child how to treat other people with respect and kindness. Avoid reacting to disappointments with verbal or physical aggression.

  • Praise your child for kind words or deeds.

A child who bullies may need professional counselling to learn healthy ways to interact with people.


Current as of: October 20, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Susan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Louis Pellegrino MD - Developmental Pediatrics