What to do if Your Child is Being Bullied

One of the last things a parent wants to find out is that their child is the victim of a bully at school. Not only does that parent find out that their child is undergoing severe mental anguish as a result, but that child develops issues when they are the victim of a bully.

If your child is the victim of a bully at school, there are some ways that you can address the issue. Even if your child is a mild mannered individual who never gets into trouble, everyone is capable of being pushed over the edge and resorting to violence to stop it.

Here is what you can do:

  • Teach your child that they do not have to take it, but that resorting to violence is not the way to solve the problem. There are aggressive non-violent ways to handle a bully. For instance, a bold “leave me alone” works much better than cowering away and saying nothing.
  • Tell your child to stay close to friends. It is ideal to have two or more friends with them when a bully strikes.
  • Tell your child that he or she can tell the bully to leave them alone or go straight to a teacher. Let them know that it is safe to tell; that they don’t have to keep it to themselves. It is ideal to rehearse what to say so that it is not portrayed as tattling. For instance, “Excuse me Mr. or Mrs. Teacher, but Pete keeps cornering me up against the wall and I have asked him to stop but he won’t.” By practicing at home, your child will be more confident when having to do the actual task.
  • Sometimes ignoring a verbal bully can do wonders. Teach your child that they can turn and walk away without saying a word.
  • If your child does not have many friends, it may help to develop better social skills. This can start with inviting friends over or going to the movies with friends.

If your child tries everything and nothing works, you may need to step in. This does not mean approaching the child or their parents, but talking to the principal of the school. Be calm and collective during the meeting and let the principal know what behaviors you have observed in your child, what your child has told you has occurred, and the methods in which your child has tried to resolve the situation. This is the way that you are going to be able to bring about an effective solution that will benefit everyone involved and ultimately keep the school environment as safe as possible for all students.