RENO, NV - We hear about victims of bullying in schools, but what do we know about the ones who do the bullying? There are a few ways you can to talk to your children if you think they are intimidating their peers at school.
No parent wants to get a phone call from school saying their child has been bullied, but it's even worse when that phone call says their child is the bully. Studies show that 1 out of 5 kids admits to being a bully or doing some bullying.
However, there are things you can do at home to help your children before they take it too far at school.
"Bullies don't come in any certain sizes, nationalities, systems of economics, quite often they're home grown," said Beverly Paschal, a family and marriage therapist said.
Children learn by example, rolling your eyes or gossiping are things you brush off, but these are negative behaviors that your child might pick up.
"If I am bigger than my child, and my child mouths off to me, then do I bully him by smacking him? What's the lesson? The child finds someone smaller than him and smacks him," she said.
While you may think you're doing your job as a parent--putting a roof over your kids' heads, feeding them, often times the emotional needs are overlooked and that's not the school's responsibility to fill.
"Whether that's acknowledgment, whether that's an 'atta boy' whether it's a 'I'm really proud of you, 'they're trying to get a need met that is not being met."
Many students don't feel comfortable enough to report a problem, that's when you step in.
"'I can't do that, mom, because then they'll pick on me,'" she said. "Okay, I will report it then."
While signs may be difficult to spot at home, you can put them to the test by seeing how they treat minimum wage workers or servers at restaurants. A lack of empathy is usually a big indicator that something might be wrong.
"If they demand or order them around, they demand, they demean, you might want to take care of that right away."
If there is an action there needs to be a reaction. When you know your child is being a bully, the first step is to make him or her take ownership and apologize to the victim.
"Whatever they cause, they have to correct."
One way to confront your child if you got a call saying he or she is bullying, ask them for their version of the story in stead of 'why' because that will give them a reason to lie.
If your child doesn't admit he or she did something wrong or accept the role as a bully, you should seek professional help.