How to Talk to your Child About Bullying

How to Talk to your Child About BullyingChildren often find it difficult to talk about bullying, and broaching the subject can be difficult for parents too. However, if you’re concerned that your child may be suffering in school, then it’s crucial to help them as quickly as possible. Bullying is a very serious problem that can damage a child’s self-esteem and even lead to feelings of anxiety and depression.

Related: 7 Telltale Things Bullies Say

If you notice that your child is showing signs that they could be being bullied – perhaps because they’re constantly coming home with bruises, or are afraid to go to school, then it’s important to make sure that you address the issue with them.

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Addressing the Subject

The first thing to do when trying to talk to a child about bullying, is remind them that you’re on their side. They need to know that you care about them, and that you simply want to help to make the situation better. For some children, it might help to let them know that you won’t do anything that they don’t want you to do. For instance, if they’d prefer you took the issue to a headmaster, rather than calling the parents of the child involved, this should be something you can consider.
Importantly, though you need to let your child know that you won’t let the situation get any worse, it’s important to also remind them that you have to do something about it. Tell them that you know they’re scared, but you’re not going to let anything bad happen to them anymore.

Come up with a Plan Together

Often, the best way to deal with bullying is to come up with a plan that both you and your child are comfortable with. Though there may be a lot of tears and anger involved in addressing the topic at first, you should find that you eventually come to a decision about how the issue is going to be handled.

Throughout the process, remind your child as often as possible that you’re there for them, and do what you can to remain patient.

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  • tara pittman

    My son was being bullied at school. He did not want me telling the teacher so we talked about how to handle it and my son said things are better.

  • AdventureDawgs

    This is a difficult subject but one that is way to common. It’s unfortunately that society has become so mean and hateful. Middle school is the worst! It doesn’t help when you come up with a plan and the school doesn’t back you. This is a great post about and important subject. Thank you.

  • It can definitely be a topic that is often hard to breach but definitely one that is necessary to do so. As someone who was bullied growing up, it’s hard to tell grown up about it, but having a supportive, understanding and active network is important.

  • Kisa ‘Yuki’ Johnson

    This is such a hard subject, more so when schools don’t really do much about it even if they claim they have zero tolerance policies. I wish schools were able to do more about it, but also that parents would monitor how their kids are interacting with others.

  • Anosa Malanga VA

    Talking with kids about problems is not as easy as one, two, three. Sometimes its hard to initiate talks about this but this thing should be a hobby for every parents. Topics like bullying is really a hot topic that involve kids.

  • mark and kate

    Kids must be taught on how to handle bullies. We must teach and guide them on what to do if ever they encounter someone bullying them.

  • Kids are so vulnerable today, but weren’t we always? I remember the issues I had with bullying growing up and how I stood up for friends as a kid. I like the idea of coming up with a plan together. It allows them to understand they’re not alone in this.

  • Ave T

    As you say, it’s really important to talk with your kids about bullying. It’s also important to let your kids know that you always have their back and try to help them as much as possible! Thanks for sharing useful tips!

  • Bullying is such a serious issue. With the recent news story about the 8-year-old who was bullied and later took his own life, I think that more schools, organizations and especially parents need to take bullying seriously. Kids are very sensitive no matter what age. Sometimes they do not share their true feelings for fear of getting in trouble or other reasons. It’s our job as parents and/or mentors to pick up on other clues and truly be supportive. Great post!!

  • erin fesperman

    It’s crazy how things are so much different today than when I was in school. Of course there were bullies but I don’t ever remember kids being so sensitive about it like they are today. (I know one thing, if you saw someone bullying your friend, you stuck up for them!) Bullying will never go away, no matter how old you get. You have to learn to stand up for yourself and to not let others ever take advantage of you.

  • Agreed that as parents, it’s important to talk to our children about bullying. It’s such an important topic that sometimes got swept under the carpet.

  • Leigh Anne Borders

    This is a topic we talk about frequently at our home because it has impacted us greatly. It is so important to have those open lines of communication.

  • Such an important topic to speak to our children about. I was bullied as a child in school so I definitely ensure I speak to my kids about it.

  • Missy Nolan

    I like the idea about coming up with a plan. It’s easier to cope with things when you have a potential plan of action in place.

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