Try using this approach with a child who’s bullying others.
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“What do you do when your own child is the bully? You are always talking about what to do when your kid is being bullied. What about when they are the one who is doling it out?”
 
This question came from a concerned mother, wracked with guilt over her son’s habit of emotionally demeaning peers and physically pushing them around.
 
Described below is one suggestion. To read more, visit my blog.
 
Spit in their Soup
 
“Spitting in their Soup” is a powerful therapeutic technique originally developed decades ago… and named by the famous therapist Alfred Adler. The Love and Logic variation is summed up in two steps:
 
1.   Identify the child’s goal for performing the behavior. Often in the case of bullying, the goal is to look and feel powerful.
2.   Use empathy to communicate that the behavior is actually achieving the opposite.
 
Let’s see how a parent or educator might use this approach with a child who’s bullying others:
 
  Adult (with sincere empathy): “I’ve been learning a lot about why kids bully others.”
  Bully: “I’m not doing it. It’s not me. Why do I always get blamed for everything?”
  Adult (with true heartfelt compassion): “Down deep they want others to know how much they are hurting… how scared they are feeling… how weak they feel.”
  Bully: “That’s not me!”
  Adult (without a hint of sarcasm): “It’s like when they pick on other kids, they are really saying to everyone, ‘I’m hurting so bad… somebody please help me.’”
  Bully: “I don’t even know what you’re talking about. That’s not me.”
  Adult: “Talk to you later. Let me know if there is any way I can help.”
 
Obviously, this approach can backfire dramatically if the adult is unable to apply sincerity and true compassion. Love always has to be the foundation.
 
Charles Fay, Ph.D. - bioThanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
 
Dr. Charles Fay
 
 

 
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