Hey Rosie!
December 10, 2021
I just found out that my nice, decent son is actually a bully!

Hey Rosie,

I was told by my son’s school that he is a bully. Rosie, I was upset because I truly believed that they were lying.  My son is nine years old, respectful and kind.  He’s active in church and has many friends.  How could he be a bully? Do you know that I found out that he’s been hitting a few friends at school, taking their collection action figures and involved in other troublesome behaviour?  So I had to apologise to some of the children’s parents.  My question is this; how did I miss this?  How did he turn out like this at such a young age?  What am I going to do to teach him this isn’t a good trait to have.  When I speak to him he says “yes mom “, but I think he’s just saying it so I can leave him alone.   I am very concerned for his future.

Concerned

Dear Concerned,

I have to give you a lot of credit.  You are being very real with this issue of your son’s bullying and I admire that you want to be proactive in getting him help as he is still quite young.

I think it’s important to set the ground rules with him about what you find to be unacceptable behavior when it comes to how he treats others.  But I also am very concerned that he almost has two very different lives – one where he’s almost the perfect choir boy with his family. Then on the other hand he is a menace to his friends and his unpleasant mask comes off.  I personally would seek family therapy and also individual therapy for him.  There must be some underlying triggers of learned behaviours that may need to be addressed.

By no means am I attacking your parenting skills – this may just be a way that he is wired and needs to be redirected with healthier approaches when dealing with his friends.  Know that you are on the right track to getting him the help that he needs.

All the best going forward,

Rosie