What should parents do if children show signs of bullying?

RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- When we talk about bullying, a lot of the conversation surrounds what to do if your child is being bullied. But what should you do if your child is the one doing the bullying?

"We don't want to put labels on our kids and we don't want our kids to be anything less than successful," Washoe County School District Director of Counseling Katherine Loudon said. "So sometimes if something is a stigma or a label, we have difficulty looking at that."

But Loudon said bullying is something every parent should look out for. "There isn't a particular pattern or type of student that would engage in bullying behavior. It transcends all socioeconomic levels, all races. It's popular and unpopular kids, and it could be your child."

So Loudon said you should pay attention to how your child talks about other kids. Bullying doesn't have to be violence, or even name calling. "It can be socially excluding a child. It can be laughing behind their back. It can be making faces at them. It can be talking about them and spreading rumors, or spreading things that are true but are hurtful and painful."

So if your child cannot put him or herself in others' shoes, shows a lack of respect, or is prone to anger or aggression, Loudon said you should talk to someone. "They can call me. They can call a school counselor. They can talk to an outside practitioner."

Just don't ignore it.

"There's opportunities for change and there's opportunities to begin again and there are many students who have engaged in bullying behavior and who now don't," Loudon said.

If you are concerned about your child, you can reach Katherine Loudon by email at or phone at 775-721-5284. You can also find more resources on the Washoe County School District website.