Help! Is it normal that... my son is a bully

Can you help this iVillager solve another difficult parenting dilemma?

I think my six-year-old son’s a sweetheart. He can be a real mummy’s boy, is really sweet with his little brother and generally plays well with other kids. But…

In the last few weeks, before going back to school and since he’s been back, he is not playing well with other kids, and even being violent. I was at a friend’s house with him at the weekend and was horrified to see – when screams alerted us – that he had pushed over her little girl and was sitting on her. Worse, when I intervened, he refused to apologise or show any remorse for upsetting his friend. Of course I took him home.

It’s not the first time this has happened. He hit one of his friends during the holidays, quite hard in the face, and again refused to apologise. My friends and their children are clearly nervous around him now, which breaks my heart. In the first days back at school his teacher mentioned that he had been getting physical with other children, too.

At home we deal with all bad behaviour with time out and removal of privileges, like most of my friends, but he’s generally really good at home with his brother. It seems to be when we’re out with other kids that he starts acting up.

My husband says ‘Boys will be boys’ and thinks it’s better to let kids work out their problems between themselves, but I am really upset that my lovely little boy might be becoming a bully and wonder if we should get help.

Can you help this mum? Should she seek help about her son’s behaviour, or deal with it at home?