What if My Child is being Bullied?

  1. Do not confront the suspected bully or bullies on your own; this may just make things worse for your child.

  2. Ask your child what is happening and how they are feeling.

  3. Role play with your child and discuss ways they can respond to a bully; some ideas may include walking away, telling an adult, or asking for help from peers.

  4. Teach your child that it is not tattling to tell on a bully; help them understand how "telling" is the first step to stopping the bully.

  5. Help your child deal with any shame or embarrassment caused by the bullying; even victims of bullying tend to blame themselves; assure your child that he/she did not cause the bully to pick on him/her.

  6. Encourage your child to talk with friends about bullying; bullies rarely target students in groups, so having a peer group is helpful in avoiding being a target.

  7. Be sure there is adequate supervision in outside activities.

  8. Report incidents of bullying to school officials; enlist their help in monitoring and addressing the bullying.

  9. If this is a neighborhood/community problem, talk with the bully's parents so they become aware of the problem; they may not know.

  10. Seek outside help; this is not easy work; your school's counselor, social worker, or psychologist may be able to assist; you may also want to engage outside counseling to remediate any possible long-term effects of bullying.

National Mental Health and Education Center, National Association of School Psychologists, Bullies and Victims: Information for Parents