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Is your daughter a bully?

Bully Parents

Because girls tend to bully in less obvious ways than boys, it is often hard to determine if your daughter is a bully. Talk to your daughter regularly and be on the lookout for signs of bullying, such as suddenly dropping a close friend.

A bully often:

  • seeks to dominate and/or manipulate others
  • enjoys feeling powerful and in control (whether real or not)
  • seems to get satisfaction from other’s fears, discomfort, or pain
  • is good at hiding behaviors or doing them where adults can’t notice
  • is excited by conflicts between others
  • blames others for his/her problems
  • displays intolerance and prejudice towards others
  • lacks empathy towards others

If you think your daughter is a bully…

  • Tell her that bullying is NOT acceptable behavior.
  • Tell her the penalties for bullying and be sure that you enforce them fairly and consistently.
  • Help her learn other ways to deal with anger and frustration.
  • Teach and reward better behavior.
  • Work out a way for her to apologize for the bullying.
  • Help her to understand how her bullying has affected the person who has been bullied.
  • Seek help or counseling if the bullying does not stop.
  • If contacted by the school, stay calm; try not to become angry and defensive. Make an effort to really listen. Keep in mind, this is about the well-being of your child.

Talk to your daughter.
Is your daughter being bullied?


Content last reviewed November 11, 2007
Page last updated October 31, 2013

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health.