When your child is the bully

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When your child is the bully

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When I talk to parents whose child has been identified as a bully, I often say; one, take a deep breath, and two, it isn't a result of your parenting skills, three, you must recognize that many bullies at our schools actually have really strong leadership skills. But because your child might be in a school where the administration does nothing about bullies, where the popular kids are bullies, your child might have emerged as a bully. Although understanding that, you also don't want to ignore that there might be something seriously wrong behind the bullying. Does your child have a sibling? Could there be some aggression among the siblings that's playing out in the context of the school. Also, kids go through things and don't always talk to parents. If this behavior is uncharacteristic of your child, it's something that just came to your attention, then you may need to have a conversation with your child. Also, seeking out professional help to see what is at the bottom. What's the root of the aggression that is emerging within the context of school?

View Dorothy Espelage's video on When your child is the bully...

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Dorothy Espelage

Professor of Child Development

Dorothy L. Espelage, PhD, is a Professor of Child Development in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  She is a University Scholar and has fellow status in Division 17 (Counseling Psychology) of the American Psychological Association.  She earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Indiana University in 1997. She has conducted research on bullying, homophobic teasing, sexual harassment, and dating violence for the last 18 years. As a result, she presents regularly at regional, national, and international conferences and is author on over 90 professional publications.  She is co-editor of four published books including Bullying in North American Schools: A Social-Ecological Perspective on Prevention and Intervention and International Handbook of Bullying published by Routledge. She is Associate Editor of the Journal of Counseling Psychology. She has presented thousands of workshops and in-service training seminars for teachers, administrators, counselors, and social workers across the U.S.  Her research focuses on translating empirical findings into prevention and intervention programming.  She is currently funded by the CDC for a randomized clinical trial of a bullying prevention program in 36 middle schools. She authored a 2011 White House Brief on bullying among LGBTQ youth and attended the White House Conference in 2011. She is also funded by National Science Foundation to develop better methods to assess bullying among adolescents and CDC and NIJ are funding a longitudinal study of predictors of bullying and dating violence among adolescents. Dr. Espelage has appeared on many television news and talk shows, including The Today Show; CNN; CBS Evening News; The Oprah Winfrey Show, Anderson, Anderson 360 and has been quoted in the national print press, including Time Magazine, USA Today, People, Boston Globe, and the Wall Street Journal. Her dedicated team of undergraduate and graduate students are committed to the dissemination of the research through various mechanisms.

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