My son's a bully
Fiona Caine is here to help if you have a relationship, sexual, marriage or family problem.
I thought I’d brought my children up to be reasonable human beings but I’m devastated to discover that my 11-year-old son is a bully.
The first I knew was when I was called in to see the headmaster to be told that he’d been bullying younger children at the school and taking money from them.
His father and I split up five years ago and after that he always seemed a little more aggressive but I didn’t think it had escalated this far.
Clearly, though, it is much more of a problem than I realised and I feel so guilty and humiliated. I feel so angry with him but sad at the same time. JE
FIONA SAYS: BE CALM AND RATIONAL
It could well be that his father's departure triggered your son's aggressive behaviour, but it might also be that he was bullied himself.
Quite often children who bully have been subjected to the same treatment and therefore see it as normal.
Whether this is the case or not, you should try to think calmly and rationally about this.
I am sure the teachers are not accusing you of encouraging him to be a bully, so try to put your feelings to one side.
I would strongly suggest you contact Beatbullying, which can offer you advice and support and which offers programmes that would help your son, too.
For more information, visit beatbullying.org and perhaps the school would like to consider running one of its programmes.