Help Prevent Bullying

  • How Parents Can Help Prevent Bullying

    • Talk with and listen to your kids every day. Research shows that approximately half the children who have been bullied never tell parents about it. Children are often too ashamed of themselves to tell anyone, sometimes because they feel that no one can help, not even their parents.

    • Be a good example of kindness and leadership. Your kids learn a lot about power and relationships from watching you. Any time you speak to another person in a hurtful or abusive way, you‘re teaching your child that bullying is ok.

    • Learn the signs. If you suspect that your child might be bullied, talk with your child’s teacher or find ways to observe his or her peer interactions to determine whether or not your suspicions might be correct.

    • Create healthy anti-bullying habits early. Help develop anti-bullying and anti-victimization habits early in your children, as early as kindergarten. Coach your children about what not to do such as hitting, pushing, teasing or being mean to others. Equally, if not more importantly, teach your children what to do such as being kind towards others, demonstrating empathy, fair play, and turn-taking.

    • Establish household rules about bullying. Your children need to hear from you explicitly that it’s not normal, okay, or tolerable for them to bully, to be bullied, or to stand by and watch other kids are bullied. If your child is bullying, you can help him or her find other ways to exert their personal power, status, and leadership at school. 

    • Teach your child how to be a good witness. Children can often effectively diffuse a bullying situation by yelling “Stop! You’re bullying” Most bullies stop within 10 seconds when someone tells him or her to stop.

    • Spread the word that bullying should not be a normal part of childhood. Some adults hesitate to act when they observe or hear about bullying because they think of bullying as a typical phase of childhood that must be endured. It is important for everyone to understand that all forms of bullying including physical, verbal, social (gossip, rumors, exclusion from the group) and cyber bullying are NOT normal part of childhood.