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Tips To Help If Your Child Is Being Bullied


I think the hardest part for my dad was not knowing what he could do to help. He called the principal but was quickly dismissed. The principal muttered over the phone, “Unfortunately sir, we can’t do anything to intervene if it happened via the web. You could get the police involved but we can’t do anything for you.” Even today, I meet parents who have asked, “What can we do if our child is being bullied?” This isn’t really knowledge people have until they are going through it. STARS wants to provide families, teachers, and individuals the steps necessary to take when your child or someone you know is being bullied.

As an adult, it is incredibly hard to hear one of our loved ones is being bullied. Whether it is your daughter, niece, grandson, or even your neighbor’s child, it can be unnerving and feel like you have zero control. Your gut reaction might be to jerk your child out of school and your blood might be boiling, so here are a few tips if your child is being bullied:

Focus on your child. Be supportive and gather information.

  • Throughout the entire process be supportive of his or her feelings.
  • It is important to find out what is going on, so ask your child for their recollection of the events. In cases when you are not sure if your child is being bullied ask direct questions such as, “Did someone hurt you?” or “Can you tell me exactly what he or she did?” Once you know it has happened, address it immediately.
  • Find out as much information as you can.

When the bullying happened or where it is happening.
When the bullying happened or where it is happening.
Was there other children or adults who witnessed the bullying?
How did it happen? (GLSEN)

  • Do not downplay how your child is feeling, acknowledge their feelings and reassure them you know that being targeted can be painful (ADL).
  • Show empathy. Express bullying is wrong and you are glad he or she had the courage to tell you about it.
  • Never encourage retaliation as a solution. This will only make the situation worse and more than likely your child will wind up getting into trouble (GLSEN). The most critical message you want to send is “I love you. I’m here for you. Together, we will find a solution” (Parenting).

Contact his or her teacher or the principal.

  • Strictly focus on the evidence rather than the emotions when discussing with the school faculty.
  • Expect the bullying to stop and express to staff you want to work together to find a solution to end the bullying.
  • Share the what, who, where, when, and how.
  • After the initial contact, make sure to follow-up to find out how things have progressed.
  • If the problem continues, or the teacher ignores your concerns, ask to meet with the school counselor or principal. If you are met with resistance, apply pressure until a solution can be found.
  • Do not contact the parents of the student(s) who bullied your child. This tends to only make the situation worse and can turn into a “he said, she said” argument. (GLSEN)

Help your child become more resilient to bullying from others.

  • Encourage and help your child meet new friends outside of school. Join after-school activities such as sports teams, school clubs, and non-school related activities such as local theatre group or art program.
  • Role play situations and teach your child how they can respond to help boost your child’s confidence.
  • Ensure your child has a safe and loving home to come home to where she or he has the shelter, physically and emotionally to feel safe. Make sure the lines of communication remain open.
  • Teach your child safety strategies.
  • How to seek help from an adult when he or she is feeling threatened.
  • Who to talk to when he or she needs help and rehearse what to say.
  • Remind them that reporting bullying is not the same as tattling (GLSEN).

Majority of schools have a program specifically designed to raise awareness about bullying and to help parents and teachers effectively resolve any bullying that might occur. The program is designed for the school and parents to work together. Contact your school to find out their plans and procedures.

STARS has a variety of programs that serve different age groups to address prevention, intervention, and the treatment of bullying. Check out the variety of programs we have here.

Are you having a hard time identifying bullying? See the first blog of our October series here. Are you a kid being bullied and need advice? See our tips for kids who are being bullied here.






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