Q:

My son, who has attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is definitely not being bullied; however, he is a bully. What can I do to get him to stop bullying younger children at his school? -- Mom of a Bully

A:

Children with ADHD are actually three times more likely to be bullies than other children. Many of these children are not socially competent, have negative thoughts about themselves, do poorly academically and have difficulty resolving problems with other children. Improvement in any of these areas will reduce bullying.

Ideally, you want to limit opportunities for your son to bully. If it is happening on the school bus, he can be assigned a seat by the driver. In the classroom, he can be seated close to the teacher. On the playground, he can be limited to playing in well-supervised areas.

Your son definitely needs to understand that bullying is unacceptable. When he has been a bully, ask him how he feels when someone is mean to him. And do stay calm throughout your discussions of bullying incidents.

It can be helpful to have a system of rewards for good behavior and consequences for bullying. Consequences can include apologies, timeouts and losing privileges. Be sure to work with your son's teacher to help him have the opportunity to do positive things at school that will improve his social skills.