What to Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied

How to identify common signs of bullying — plus, how to respond.
By Carlin Flora




Bullying is an all-too-common occurrence. But most kids won't directly tell their parents when it happens. So it's essential to know how to identify signs that your child is being bullied, along with the best way to work with teachers to respond to the situation. 

Know Signs of Bullying 
Kids who are targets tend to withdraw, cry more than usual, and complain of head- or stomachaches more frequently than others.

Get Kids to Talk 
Start the conversation by asking about the good and bad parts of the day. Listen without jumping to conclusions (“Were you bullied?”) and encourage your kid to be specific (“Emma shoved me in line, and this is the fourth time”).

Take Action
Speak to the teacher first. If you describe the situation specifically instead of jumping to the B-word, the school can work with you more effectively.

Ask for a Plan
Work with the teacher on a strategy (there will be at least three kids between your child and Emma, say) and request regular feedback. The focus should be on getting the behavior to stop rather than obsessing over harsh consequences.

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Social Skills
Raising Kids
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Child Development and Behavior