Parents are sometimes shocked and distressed to get the phone call from another parent or school stating that their child has been bullying another child. They fail to read the signs that indicate their child has been using aggressive language or behavior.
Bullying behaviors can appear for many reasons, including but not limited to poor self-esteem, a trauma at home or school, lack of empathy or no outlet for aggression.
Here are some warning signs:
• Misguided confidence or arrogance
• Poor treatment to siblings or pets
• Frequent name calling
• Failing grades
• A sudden withdrawal from normal activities, such as avoiding friends or being avoided by friends.

Children may exhibit only one or all of these warning signs. The negative behaviors are better dealt with immediately than waiting for them to progress into bullying behavior.

It is important to stay calm and guard against unwittingly reinforcing the harassing behaviors when dealing with your child who is acting the bully.