How to Discipline a Daughter for Bullying

Question.

My daughter who is 12 received detention for the second time for being involved in group bullying. She had also had a contract with the school not to do this anymore. I spoke with her last night, and she admits to participating in verbal bullying that offended her friend. Her birthday is coming up, and I was going to let her have a couple of friends stay over. But I don't know if Iā€™m going to allow that now. Would this be the right punishment, or am I being too harsh?

Answer.

It is great to hear that you are so proactive in encouraging your daughter to make better decisions when it comes to her behavior. We are sorry to hear that she is involved in the bullying of another student but it sounds like between the school and you, it will be taken care of.

The consequence you’ve delivered should make your daughter think twice about bullying another person. It is okay to follow through with these because her behavior is not acceptable. Since you already have given her those consequences, we feel it is important to follow through with it. Keeping her birthday
low-key is fine. She still has the opportunity to celebrate it just on a smaller scale.

Your daughter may like to check our teen website. Have her check out www.yourlifeyourvoice.org this weekend. We have a section on bullying. She’ll be able to read actual emails from kids who are bullied. Gaining insight from the point of view of the person being bullied might help her see why it’s so inappropriate and could keep her from bullying again.