File image: It is vital to try and understand what is behind the behaviour.
It's hard being told that your child is the one inflicting pain on another. Contemporary Parenting's Colleen Wilson has sage advice for parents.

Seek advice

These situations are always emotionally charged, and for an adult to handle it in a way that is constructive for their child, they need to ensure their own emotional health is in place. So it is useful for a parent to seek help, support and constructive advice.

Never random

It is vital to try and understand what is behind the behaviour. So much emphasis is put on what the bully is doing that not enough attention to given to why. Behaviour is never random - there is always a reason for it and seeking to solve the cause can often resolve the effect as well.

Define bullying

Get clear on the term bullying - persistent and intentional negative emotional, mental or physical actions against another who is, or is perceived to be, weaker. Is it really bullying, or is it mean spiritedness? The term is often used when it is the latter, not the former.

Support your child

Every child needs to feel supported, no matter their behaviour. Parents need to try not to blame and shame their child if their behaviour isn’t desirable. This is counter productive to remedying the behaviour.

Works in progress

Children are still learning and are adult "works in progress". The idea behind this is to make the behaviour teachable rather punishable. No child wants to be a bully, so if they find themselves in this situation they mostly don’t know how to get themselves out of it. Patterns form and children get locked into a behaviour. The approach must be to support and teach, firmly but without further damage to the child’s sense of self. We want to build them up to a better version of themselves, not break them down. 

The face of a bully:

Children who bully tend to become aggressive adults.

Almost 70 percent of school bullies have at least one criminal conviction by the age of 24.

Chronic bullies seem to continue their behaviours into adulthood, negatively influencing their ability to develop and maintain positive relationships.

These children believe violence is the only way to handle conflict, they have a strong need to dominate and these patterns of behaviour continue into later life - domestic violence, road rage, bar fights.

They have only a few friends -usually other kids who are just like them, or are scared of being targeted themselves. This leaves them lonely later in life.

* Source: SADAG