5 tips to help your kids deal with bullying

November 3, 2015

When bullies pick on kids, they can turn an ordinary day into a nightmare. If your child is being bullied, it's important to intervene quickly. Here are some tips to help you and your children handle bullying.

5 tips to help your kids deal with bullying

1. Start a conversation

Sometimes bullying can go on for years without anyone noticing it. Your kids might be too scared to speak up and tell you when they're being bullied, or the bully might have told them they'll get in trouble if they tell anyone.

  • Discuss the difference between bullying and teasing with your children. Talk to your kids about bullying and ask them if they have any bullies in their life.
  • They'll be more likely to talk to you if you begin the conversation, and you can even use a kid's book or television programme on bullying to help them feel less alone and open up.

2. Listen

  • If your kids tell you that they're being bullied, listen calmly and offer your comfort and support.
  • Try not to get upset or emotional during the conversation. It will make the situation worse for your kids if you make them feel bad, overreact and offer advice that escalates the problem.

3. Praise them

Praise your child for discussing the situation with you. Children sometimes feel that it's their fault that they're being bullied and that they must be doing something wrong to warrant it.

  • Remind them that many people experience bullying, even adults. Tell them that it's the bully who is doing something wrong, not them.

4. Seek help

  • Let someone at school, such as a teacher, principal or counselor, know that the bullying is happening.
  • School officials can usually find a way to intervene without making the bully act out against your child even further.

5. Take action

Serious bullying can lead to a dangerous situation for your child. Don't take bullying lightly.

  • If you find out that threats or physical harm have occurred, consider contacting an authority—such as the child's principal.
  • This could lead to the bully receiving a mandate to attend therapy, which can help address the underlying issue and help prevent other children from being bullied by the same individual.
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