4 Signs Your Child Is a Bully

The following is a Guest Post By Daddy Nickell

We all try hard to raise kind and empathetic children; however, it’s easier said than done. October was National Bullying Prevention Month, and there are lots of signs you can look for if you suspect the worst: your child is a bully.

1. Your Child Displays Behavioral Issues at Home: If your child is acting out at home then imagine how they might be acting when you’re not around and they’re put in a different environment – like school. If your child is picking on a sibling and or acting with a hot temper towards you that could be a sign they’re picking on others and acting that way at school, too. I suggest you take action immediately, delivering the appropriate consequences and discussing alternate ways in which they can handle their anger and frustration.

2. Your Child Gets In Trouble at School: One of the telltale signs your child is a bully is if they get in trouble for picking on others at school. If you get a phone call from the school letting you know your child acted out and hurt another child physically or emotionally you need to take that call very seriously. If you handle it appropriately right away you might be able to steer your child back onto the right track and avoid a continued path of bullying and or later expulsion.

3. Your Child Is Friends with a Bully: If you notice one of your child’s friends being mean and aggressive you might need to step in, so your child doesn’t learn to accept that behavior as normal or okay. Teach your child ways in which they can help their friend be kinder to others and talk about how it would feel if their friend treated them in a mean or aggressive manner.

4. Your Child Is Witness to Violence at Home: If there is violence and constant anger in your own home your child will learn that behavior and act that way when not at home, too. Remember, children are always watching and learning from their parents, so try hard to set a good example, be positive, be kind and be empathetic.

Learning your child is a bully is not fun for any parent. Don’t give up though; should you find yourself in such a situation your child will need your love and guidance now more than ever!


Daddy Nickell

Robert Nickell (known as Daddy Nickell), owner of DaddyScrubs, provides valuable and unique advice for parents, and especially dads, on how to give your child the self-confidence, skills and power to stand up (and proudly walk away) from bullying. A father of three, Daddy Nickell developed DaddyScrubs to provide products and support to dads throughout all stages of fatherhood, including strong, empowering advice that helps dads all over the world develops capable, self-confident and successful kids. For more information on DaddyScrubs and Daddy Nickell, please visit www.DaddyScrubs.com.


Bullying is a very important topic to discuss and as parents we have to learn to look for the signs and ensure our children are not bullying each others at school. I believe that with our love and guidance we can really make a difference.  Angela



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2013 Holiday Gift Guide

Disclosure:  I received a sample of a product to facilitate this post.  All views and opinions stated on this post are 100% my own.

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Angela V

Founder and Writer at One Smiley Monkey blog
Hi, my name is Angela van Tijn and I live in Vancouver, Canada with my wonderful husband, our two boys and our puppy. I am the founder and primary contributor behind One Smiley Monkey. Welcome to my blog!
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80 responses to “4 Signs Your Child Is a Bully”

  1. Donna Sousa — November 6, 2013 @ 8:59 am (#)

    It would be very hard for anyone to accept that their child is bullying another but we do need to take that step back and look at things rationally and unbiased as best as we can.

  2. Sandra Finn — November 6, 2013 @ 9:01 am (#)

    Always intervene. I would sit down and talk with them about what is going on and try to solve the problem before it escalates further.

  3. Tara Jensen — November 6, 2013 @ 9:04 am (#)

    I really liked the suggestions on how to deal with things if your child is friends with a bully, often times we don’t take that into account.

  4. lori b — November 6, 2013 @ 9:04 am (#)

    I don’t think anyone should be bullied, I would have say something before it gets worse as well

  5. danielle thorne — November 6, 2013 @ 9:12 am (#)

    if your child is getting into trouble at school a lot. maybe they are the problem and you should look into it and not just blame the teacher or other students.

  6. michelle tremblett — November 6, 2013 @ 9:28 am (#)

    I learned that October is bully awareness month, and that their are many signs that your child may be a bully or be getting bullied and you need to stay aware.

  7. Sarah @ Living As We — November 6, 2013 @ 9:33 am (#)

    I learned that children acting out at home could be a sign that your child is a bully. It’s definitely important to watch out for these signs.

  8. nicky — November 6, 2013 @ 9:42 am (#)

    that if my child gets into trouble at school, it’s important to pay attention.

  9. jan — November 6, 2013 @ 9:58 am (#)

    too many people believe that their child could never be the bully, but sometimes it can be so subtle.

  10. Lusia M. — November 6, 2013 @ 10:19 am (#)

    Parents have to know who their kids are hanging out with at school – those kids may be bullies.

  11. Michelle dawe — November 6, 2013 @ 10:21 am (#)

    This would be perfect gift for my hubby of 17 years.. Not only do we together have a 8 yr old and 8 week old girls but he is also the man who raised my other 2 like his own.. He would wear this proud

  12. lisa bolduc — November 6, 2013 @ 10:23 am (#)

    i like the post about being friends with a bully. great advice!

  13. Ashleigh Swerdfeger — November 6, 2013 @ 11:37 am (#)

    I definitely think it can be hard for parents to see their kid as a bully. These tops are very useful and practical. I do think its important to know if they are friends with a bully and why.

  14. Viv Sluys — November 6, 2013 @ 12:19 pm (#)

    What a great post to have! I think a lot of bullying happens and continues to happen because parents can’t see that their child is bullying! These are great points, especially the last one as something parents need to look for in their own behaviour. Even if a parent isn’t abusive to their children or spouse, yelling at other drivers (even if other drivers can’t hear you!) is a show of bullying. Definitely makes me do a self-check!

  15. Joce Lyne — November 6, 2013 @ 12:32 pm (#)

    that if my kid gets in trouble at school, i should pay attention and do something!

  16. Lindsay — November 6, 2013 @ 12:32 pm (#)

    I learned the signs to tell if my child is being a bully.

  17. charityk — November 6, 2013 @ 12:45 pm (#)

    kids are learning from their parents, so if a child is a bully they may not be able to stop because they dont have a good foundation at home

  18. kristen visser — November 6, 2013 @ 12:49 pm (#)

    to know who my childs friends are! in case one of them maybe a bully i would not want my child to follow in their footsteps or get bullied themselves

  19. Shannon Baas — November 6, 2013 @ 1:37 pm (#)

    about what to do if they are a bully.

  20. Megan Willis — November 6, 2013 @ 2:22 pm (#)

    Too many people think that their child could never be a bully.

  21. Julie G. — November 6, 2013 @ 2:44 pm (#)

    I learned what signs to watch out for to know if a child is a bully or is being bullied.

  22. jennifer wexler — November 6, 2013 @ 3:09 pm (#)

    i learned that it’s important to know who your child’s friends are

  23. Jeffrey Rossnagel — November 6, 2013 @ 3:55 pm (#)

    Talk to your child and get to know him/her. Watch for all the signs.

  24. scott macmillan — November 6, 2013 @ 4:16 pm (#)

    Bullying is an issue that should be dealt with athe first sign of trouble.

  25. Dayna Wilson — November 6, 2013 @ 4:34 pm (#)

    If you handle a situation appropriately right away, you can stop your child from a path of bullying.

  26. marlene smith — November 6, 2013 @ 5:49 pm (#)

    this is great advice for parents i wish this posted when i was a kid i got bullied when i was a child at school all the time i watch my kids and their behaviour and they are scared of some kids at school but they say they are not worried about them they are at a good school with a good principal but their will always be bullies out there of all shapes and sizes

  27. Anne Perry — November 6, 2013 @ 8:51 pm (#)

    anger and frustration at home… picking on siblings

  28. Carol Denny — November 7, 2013 @ 4:12 am (#)

    I learned that October is bully awareness month and be aware of the signs of bulling

  29. Beth — November 7, 2013 @ 6:26 am (#)

    That if my child is getting in trouble at home I need to be really aware that the same may be going on at school, friends houses and more!

  30. melikegarfield — November 7, 2013 @ 8:20 am (#)

    I learned that there are warning signs. You don’t have to wait for your child to be proven a bully in order to act. He presented important situations to look out for that could be warning signs that your child is heading down the bullying path.

  31. Kirsten — November 7, 2013 @ 8:55 am (#)

    I learned about some warning signs, but I really believe that you should not wait until you see those warning signs to talk to your children about bullying.

  32. kim burnett — November 7, 2013 @ 10:21 am (#)

    I learned that children acting out at home could be a sign that your child is a bully

  33. Sandi Tymchuk — November 7, 2013 @ 11:10 am (#)

    Stepping in when your child befriends a bully is recommended.

  34. Deb Dorrington — November 7, 2013 @ 11:47 am (#)

    I learned that there are warning signs to be aware of and to not just look at your child’s behavior but that of his/her friends. If their friend is a bully sadly your child may just be one also.

  35. Tanis — November 7, 2013 @ 1:26 pm (#)

    I learned that if your child is friends with a bully, it could mean that they are.

  36. Tamar — November 7, 2013 @ 2:00 pm (#)

    I learned that you should step in with kids who are bullies to prevent things from progressing.

  37. Ken Ohl — November 7, 2013 @ 2:26 pm (#)

    Don’t have your children be friends with bullies

  38. Taleah — November 7, 2013 @ 3:07 pm (#)

    You can never imagine your child growing up to be a bully, but it happens. If notices, and handled properly, I believe it can be redirected with time, patience, and good examples!

  39. Sweta Sonulkar — November 7, 2013 @ 3:10 pm (#)

    This is really helpful tips for parents and children and would help me a lot since my son will go to school from next year .

  40. Bailey-Eileen Dexter-Parr — November 7, 2013 @ 4:05 pm (#)

    October is bully awareness month, and that their are many signs that your child may be a bully. This is only one thing I learned

  41. Wendy Lepine Roy — November 7, 2013 @ 4:08 pm (#)

    We also should take to heart a very important fact…many adults bully children, in less obvious ways, but embarrassing, humiliating, pulling rank, etc…are bully like behaviours that adults all too often use.

  42. Jen Fillier — November 7, 2013 @ 4:40 pm (#)

    I learned that there are several warning signs your child may be a bully even if you don’t see them picking on others

  43. Lenny Zinger — November 7, 2013 @ 4:50 pm (#)

    about being friends with bullies by their behaviour…scary thought.

  44. Karen Hanlon — November 7, 2013 @ 5:14 pm (#)

    It’s good to know the warning signs of a child who could be a bully/

  45. Doris Calvert — November 7, 2013 @ 6:37 pm (#)

    Your child learns the behaviour seen at home

  46. May — November 7, 2013 @ 6:47 pm (#)

    I learned that October was National Bullying Prevention Month.

  47. Elizabeth Matthiesen — November 7, 2013 @ 7:31 pm (#)

    Bullying is a difficult problem, I know one of my daughters was bullied at school. It was so bad that she hated going to school and ended up having stomach pains which I had checked out at the Drs just to be on the safe side. I talked to the teacher about it, the girl causing the trouble was apparently very intelligent and wasn’t being tested enough in the class, she was moved up a year and slowly things began to improve for my daughter but it was a very tough year. If your child is a bully it can not be ignored, it must be discussed and with love and help it will get better. I learnt that October was National Bullying Prevention Month.

  48. Jes — November 7, 2013 @ 8:04 pm (#)

    I was a child who was bullied. No one should ever be bullied! We need to stop this and talk to our children about it!

  49. Denise Elliott — November 7, 2013 @ 11:26 pm (#)

    I learned that the post is not always right my son has school issues and behavior issues but he is not a bully at all he has ADHD not bullying problems.

  50. andie — November 8, 2013 @ 6:28 am (#)

    I learned that “Robert Nickell (known as Daddy Nickell), is the owner of DaddyScrubs” and “has three children” of his own.

  51. Jody D — November 8, 2013 @ 7:26 am (#)

    Good signs to look out for. thx

  52. Angela Mitchell — November 8, 2013 @ 1:30 pm (#)

    I learned that October was National Bullying Prevention Month. I had no idea actually.

  53. Stephen — November 8, 2013 @ 8:32 pm (#)

    Bullies pick on people!

  54. roger simmons — November 8, 2013 @ 9:29 pm (#)

    My son is not a bully but he has had problems in the past which have been rectified when I heard he was being bullied. I went straight to the principal.

  55. Nicky J — November 9, 2013 @ 7:11 am (#)

    that it’s important to help your child find other ways to deal with anger/frustration to avoid them becoming a bully

  56. Lori Jackson — November 9, 2013 @ 7:37 am (#)

    Be aware of the signs of bullying.

  57. missbobloblaw — November 9, 2013 @ 9:58 am (#)

    Never thought that my kid could be a bully if they are friends with a bully!

  58. Wanda Bergman — November 9, 2013 @ 10:36 am (#)

    I learned that if you notice one of your child’s friends being mean and aggressive you might need to step in.

  59. Bruce L. — November 9, 2013 @ 11:30 am (#)

    I learned that I need to remind my child to remember to look at the other side a little… perhaps there is a reason the bully is what he is.

  60. Wendy hutton — November 9, 2013 @ 8:43 pm (#)

    pay attention when your child is acting up either at home or scool

  61. Eric D — November 10, 2013 @ 8:03 am (#)

    We need to talk to our children about bully to stop this.

  62. Marc-Andre Taillefer — November 11, 2013 @ 4:32 am (#)

    That if my child gets into trouble at school, it’s important to pay attention…

  63. eleanor — November 11, 2013 @ 6:50 am (#)

    I learned about the signs of bullying

  64. Debbie Jackson — November 12, 2013 @ 6:59 pm (#)

    I learned this is important for all parents and they need to pay attention even when the child is small or the incident seems trivial

  65. joanna garcia — November 13, 2013 @ 5:30 pm (#)

    all the signs of your child being a bully. it must be hard for a parent to accept, but it is good to know the signs! i love daddyscrubs!

  66. Heather B — November 14, 2013 @ 4:20 pm (#)

    I learned that Robert Nickell is the owner of Daddy Scrubs. On the subject of bullying though it may be hard to believe your child may be doing something wrong sometimes you need to look at your own child not the ones around them!

  67. Karine — November 15, 2013 @ 4:45 pm (#)

    That you should watch the behavior at home and the kind of people your child is with

  68. Midge — November 19, 2013 @ 12:00 pm (#)

    if you children get in trouble alot at school, they may be the problem

  69. Ariel Chiu — November 19, 2013 @ 9:27 pm (#)

    i love the post about bullying solutions

  70. Beth Klocinski — November 20, 2013 @ 5:41 am (#)

    This set is a great way to help Dad get involved with the pregnancy and birth and to allow him to show off his excitement about becoming a new daddy. We often for get about the new daddy!

  71. Juliee Fitze — November 20, 2013 @ 7:58 am (#)

    Children are always watching your moves so don’t yell and hit or they will too.

  72. Shoshana — November 20, 2013 @ 8:17 am (#)

    Your child is always watching what you do and you in turn have to watch them too so that you can monitor their behaviour and step in when necessary.

  73. Mihaela Day — November 20, 2013 @ 8:21 am (#)

    I learned that children acting out at home could be a sign that your child is a bully…interesting…

  74. Jennifer — November 20, 2013 @ 8:27 am (#)

    Very informative! Thank you!

  75. Lisa Neely — November 20, 2013 @ 8:35 am (#)

    It all starts with empathy. If we can teach our children to be able to put themselves in someone elses shoes… anyone else, it will help them to see things different in situations and to be more caring. I have a son with Down syndrome, and I have had to deal with issues recently that I’m glad I did. It gave me the opportunity to be empathetic to a younger child that was learning about my son for the very first time. Being able to know that children will see differences in other children, but giving them the opportunities to ask questions without judgement is the best thing we can do. Leave the lines of communication open with all our children (and even adults) and be able to say… Hey I understand why you feel that way, but can you imagine what it’s like for the other person involved as well. Thank you for this opportunity and this great article. I believe knowledge is power and I feel more powerful from reading this post. And what a great giveaway!

  76. Sharon Painter — November 20, 2013 @ 9:11 am (#)

    I learnt that quite often children are acting out the way they see the adults do at home! Shame that this happens

  77. Jennifer — November 20, 2013 @ 11:42 am (#)

    i follow you on facebook!

  78. susan smoaks — November 20, 2013 @ 4:39 pm (#)

    i learned that Daddy Nickell developed DaddyScrubs to provide products and support to dads throughout all stages of fatherhood, including strong, empowering advice that helps dads all over the world develops capable…

  79. rose paden — November 20, 2013 @ 5:15 pm (#)

    I learned that Daddy Nickell has three children of his own! It’s great that the owner is a father himself!

  80. tina reynolds — November 20, 2013 @ 7:02 pm (#)

    Know anyone can be bullied and who your child hangs around

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