Dealing with a Bully
Here’s a quick guide to dealing with and preventing the recurrence of bullying and teasing.
What is bullying? Bullying can occur in physical, non-verbal, or online (cyberbullying) forms. If your child is being teased by another child consistently over time, that represents a form of verbal bullying.
Talk to your child. Spend time talking with your child on a regular basis and make it clear that he/she does not need to be ashamed to tell you of tough situations at school.
Find a solution. First, support your child even as you do additional research on the situation. Ask detailed questions about the incident(s): Who was involved? What exactly happened? Who else might have seen the situation?
Contact your child’s teacher or school principal as necessary. Often teachers have the best grasp on the relationships between children in the classroom. Stay professional in your interactions with school staff, and be sure to emphasize that you want to work with them to find a solution.
Prevent the cycle. Discuss with your child the possible reasons that the bully acts the way he/she does. Empathize with your child but also constructively involve him or her in solving the problem.
If necessary, work with your child to develop valuable social skills that might make bullies less likely to target him. Help your child develop a solid group of friends outside of school to give her an outlet from the bullying influences at school. And, of course, continue to communicate and demonstrate your love and support of your child!
Check out StopBullying.gov for additional tips on helping your children handle bullies.
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