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Kid's Health (Archive)
Our award-winning Kid's Health Magazine is designed to provide healthful information for your growing child. Please Note: Kid's Health Magazine is no longer being printed. Please visit our blog at http://www.choc.org/blog for the latest articles about your child's health from the experts at CHOC Children's. You can also receive our electronic Kid's Health newsletter in your inbox by subscribing to our mailing list: http://www.choc.org/subscribe

When Your Child Is The Bully

No parent wants to learn that their child is the bully. If it does happen, Dr. Huszti suggests trying to find out what led to the behavior. “It may be that your child is struggling in school or with friends, or is angry at the other person,” she says.

In some cases, your child may not even realize he or she has been a bully. “Young children may not understand that saying someone is ‘stupid’ or ‘ugly’ can be hurtful,” Dr. Huszti explains. “It’s important to teach kids what’s not appropriate to say.”

When your child has bullied someone else, apologizing is the first step. The next step should be consequences for their actions and loss of privileges. “You want to send a clear message to your child that you will not tolerate any bullying behavior,” Dr. Huszti says.

Teaching Acceptance And Diversity
It is important to teach your children about diversity and acceptance at an early age.

“Exposing children to many different types of people and situations makes them less likely to be bullies and join in when other kids are bullying,” Dr. Huszti says.

One way to teach your children about diversity is to have them experience different cultures. “Introducing your children to foods from other cultures, for example, can be positive,” she says. “Use the experience to talk about that culture and how it’s similar to and different from your own. Encourage your kids to ask other kids about their traditions.”

Dr. Huszti also suggests talking about your own family’s traditions and rituals. “When kids feel pride in their own culture, and feel good about it, they will be less likely to be bothered if a bully makes fun of it.”


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Children's Hospital of Orange County is affiliated with UC Irvine Healthcare and UC Irvine School of Medicine

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