I think at that age, bringing the bullying child over to the bullied and having them apologize is enough, assuming this is normal kids stuff like hitting once or biting. Maybe let the parent know that "Junior will be having his favorite toy taken away" if you want to impress you're taking it seriously, such as if this is a family you have play dates with frequently and want to maintain a particularly good relationship with. Obviously removing the bully from the situation if the behavior continues, whether through a time out or leaving entirely, also seems reasonable.
I'm curious though what you consider bullying in a toddler. Repeated physical intimidation, like grabbing toys away? Bullying suggests malicious intent and at that age, some kids just don't know the rules for playing yet or may be more rough and tumble than other kids. But I am curious because my nephew seems like he "bullies" other kids when I've seen him interact at parties and such - being very controlling about who plays with what when and not caring if other kids get upset, but getting upset himself if they don't follow his "rules" - and I wonder how much is a personality thing and how much is him not interacting with other kids often.
I am the parent of the toddler in question. *sigh*
Little Knit does not play well with
girls. She's not 2 yet. She really seems to dislike girls who are around her age group. She doesn't usually hit little boys.
By bullying, I am referring to hitting - but not hitting in retaliation or because her personal space has been invaded. I have literally seen her sitting on the floor playing, then looking up, randomly crossing the room and smacking another child (usually a girl) over the head (hard - and the look on her face makes me believe she intends to hurt) and then walk back and return to her play.
This always, 100% of the time, results in an immediate timeout.
If the child is older, they sometimes don't even notice they've been smacked (she's not very strong). She can make younger kids cry. She rarely does this with little boys - it's usually little girls.
And I'm not so much worried about how to deal with it with her (we're doing the best we can with immediate timeouts), but I am a little concerned about how to deal with the parent whose kid has been hit.
We went to a play centre yesterday and LK hit a one year old, knocked her over, and made her cry. We left, but I felt really awful for the other little girl. I also felt like a really bad parent. I apologized to the other parent. He didn't really acknowledge my apology, just gave me a sort of annoyed look and then looked away. I'd been talking to another mom and hadn't seen LK approach the other child.
I keep super close tabs on LK when we are out playing and manage to catch her hand about 80%-ish of the time before it makes contact.