Signs to look out for to determine if your child is a bully - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Signs to look out for to determine if your child is a bully

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

Thursday night we told you what signs experts say you should look out for to make sure your child is not getting bullied, and that only about 20 to 30 percent of students getting bullied actually tell adults about it.

But what if your child is the bully?

Experts said there are signs you can look out for to make sure your child has not become a bully.

"If your kiddo is seeming more aggressive, wanting to be the leader of the pack, very easily frustrated, getting in fights at school these are all things associated with being more on the bullying end of things," said Center for Human Development Social Worker, Lindsay Ciepiela. 

While 28 percent of students in grades 6 through 12 experience bullying, according to government data. 

Approximately 30 percent of young people admit to being the bully themselves.

"If they've been exposed to any sort of family or community violence, that's another risk factor," said Ciepiela. 

That child is four times more likely to exhibit bullying behavior as is a child who has been abused or neglected.

"Kids are writing their own story based on what they see," Ciepiela noted. 

Sometimes she said, kids are just being kids.

"I remember one day my sons were playing on the apparatus in the playground and one of my sons called out to a child, no children who are wearing glasses are allowed!" said Philip Thurston. 

Thurston who is a father to two 8-year-old twin boys, said he immediately reprimanded his son.

"I fully expect them to understand that it's not right to tease others mercilessly and I expect them to tell me when that is happening to them," said Thurston. 

In addition to looking out for warning signs and talking to your children about how they interact with others, you can also take action.

"You think your kid's upstairs in bed but they actually have access to the whole rest of the world," said Ciepiela. 

Social media plays a huge role in cyberbullying which is considered the most uncommon type of bullying according to government data, but a growing issue nonetheless.

"I have a software on her phone where if she downloads something new, I get an email notification. I can put a stop to it from my phone," said Ashley Foster. 

Foster has a plan for her 9-year-old, but it's a good rule of thumb for teenagers, too.

"The teenage brain isn't done developing until the early 20's and so the pre-frontal cortex, which is rational decision-making and impulse control. That stuff isn't done until the early 20's and so when you're trying to teach your teenager something, know that they're sort of still half-crazy," said Ciepiela. 

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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