Bullying starts as early as preschool. These days, it is not only physical but verbal. When kids threaten, insult, relentlessly tease, or engage in name-calling, that's verbal bullying.
Children who act this way are crying out for help. They are angry, scared, frustrated, and often abused . Their actions are usually reactions.
If you learn that your child has engaged in any bullying- type behaviors, seek to understand why he is acting out. Maybe he has been threatened or abused by a coach, teacher, neighbor, supposed friend, or family member. Perhaps he is being bullied and is afraid to speak up. Further, If he is feeling powerless to change a negative circumstance at home and he may seek to snuff the joy out of others.
Perhaps he is driven by certain insecurities (being too short, too tall, obese, poor, or wanting to impress or be accepted by a certain group).
As you discuss his bullying behavior, ASK HIM TO FOCUS ON UNDERSTANDING THE VICTIM. Is there a common description or profile of the types of kids he bullies? How does he select his targets? Have him explain in detail how he would feel if he were the victim instead of the perpetrator.
REQUIRE HIM TO APOLOGIZE TO HIS VICTIM. Show all the caring concern and sensitivity you can muster in getting to the root of his issues, however, let your child know in no uncertain terms that you will not tolerate any form of bullying. Explain to him exactly what privileges he can expect to lose (or other consequences). .
Parents don't be caught off guard. And for goodness sake, do not naively assume that YOUR kids would never be the perpetrator of such ungodly, antisocial behavior as verbal bullying.