A Parent's Guide for How to Deal With Bullies - Deepstash
A Parent's Guide for How to Deal With Bullies

A Parent's Guide for How to Deal With Bullies


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A Parent's Guide for How to Deal With Bullies

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Bullying can exist in many forms

It can be physical (pushing, punching, or hitting), verbal (name-calling or threats), or psychological and emotional (spreading rumors or excluding someone from a conversation or activity).

And with the pervasive use of social media, inappropriate behavior between kids can occur outside of school hours via emails, text messages, and Instagram posts (cyberbullying).


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  • Typical bullying symptoms include physical complaints such as tummy aches, as well as worries and fears, and a child not wanting to go to school. 
  • Anormal defense is to avoid or withdraw from things that are making them stressed.
  • Of course, these symptoms are not exclusive to bullying, but they still warrant a deeper probe into what may be behind them
  • It can be helpful to ask questions and get your kids talking about their social situation.
  • As kids get older, they have a significant awareness of peer relationships, so you can be more direct with your questions.


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If your child is being bullied, it's important that you help them understand that it is never their fault. Bullying is always more about the person who is engaging in the behavior and not the person being targeted.

It's not up to a child to prevent their own bullying, but it can be helpful to have a plan in place for how to address it and potentially help stop it from escalating.


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Practice phrases your child can use to tell someone to stop bullying behavior.

  • These should be simple and direct but not antagonistic: "Leave me alone." "Back off." "That wasn't nice."
  • Your child could also try, "Yeah, whatever," and then walk away.

The key is that a comeback shouldn't be a put-down because that aggravates a bully.


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Role-playing is a terrific way to build confidence and empower your child to deal with challenges.

You can role-play the bully while your child practices different responses until they feel confident handling troublesome situations. As you role-play, teach your child to speak in a strong, firm voice.


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By age 3, your child is ready to learn tricks that may help them feel more empowered in difficult situations, including when being faced with bullying behavior.

Tell your child to practice looking at the color of their friends' eyes and to do the same thing when they are talking to a child who's bothering them. This will force them to hold their head up so they will appear more confident.

Confidence can help your child feel more empowered in a challenging situation.


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Check in with your kids daily about how things are going at school. Use a calm, friendly tone and create a nurturing climate so they aren't afraid to tell you if something's wrong. Emphasize that their safety and well-being are important and that they should always talk to an adult about any problems, even problems that they think are "small" ones.


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The better your child feels about themselves, the less likely the bullying will affect their self-esteem.

  • Encourage hobbies, extracurricular activities, and social situations that bring out the best in your child.
  • Tell your child the unique qualities you love about them and reinforce positive behaviors that you'd like to see more.


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  • When your child tells you how they defused a harasser, let them know that you're proud of them.
  • If you witness another child standing up to a bully in the park, point it out to your child so they can copy that approach.
  • Above all, emphasize the idea that if your child shows that they can't be bothered, a bully will usually move on.


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  • Remember your self-worth. When someone says something bad about you, say something positive to yourself.
  • Project confidence. Tell the bully how you feel, why you feel the way you do, and what you want the bully to do. Learn to do this with a calm and determined voice.
  • Disarm the bully with humor. Laugh at their threats and walk away.
  • Stay safe and tell an adult. 
  • Try to treat others with kindness. Stand up for other students who are bullied, and ask them to stand up for you.

Children must understand that bullies have a need for power and control over others and a desire to hurt people.


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  • Report repeated severe bullying. Learn about the school's policy on bullying, document instances of bullying, and keep records.
  • Encourage your child to be an upstander (not a passive bystander).
  • Communicate with your child's school and report bullying incidences.
  • Contact the offender's parents. Getting parents involved is the right approach only for persistent acts of intimidation.


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  • If your child is being bullied, remind them that it's not their fault, they are not alone, and you are there to help.
  • It's important for kids to be able to identify their feelings and know that you want to hear about them so they can communicate what's going on.
  • What parents shouldn't do—no matter the child's age—assumes that this is normal peer stuff that will work itself out. It should never be accepted that a child is being picked on or teased.


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The first step to dealing with bullies is knowing how to recognize when your child is being bullied.