ZocdocAnswersHow can I tell whether my son is a bully?

Question

How can I tell whether my son is a bully?

My 10 year old son keeps coming home with more money than we give him at the start of the day. Could he be a bully?

Answer

This sounds like a difficult situation. I would start by thinking back over your son's behavior when you are around him. For example, does he have friends who come over and play? If so, what are his interactions with them like? Does he have brothers or sisters and, if so, how does he interact with them? Does he have any problems with outbursts or displays of temper? All of these things can give you clues into what might be going on at school. After this, the next step is going to be going to school and talking with the school principal and your son's main teachers. What you need to figure out is what his behavior at school is like, and these are your allies in terms of doing so. You will probably also want to share your concerns or suspicions with them to see if they have any observations that either go along or go against them. Finally your pediatrician may be helpful to you, especially if there is any evidence of a major behavior problem. Sometimes these problems can be associated with psychiatric or medical conditions, such as attention deficit disorder, which can respond to treatment.

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