What you can do to prevent bullying

    • Talk about bullying with your kids before it happens and encourage them to tell you about any bullying incidents.
    • When a situation occurs, stop and listen. Ask you child questions about how he or she has tried to stop the bullying. Be non-judgmental and supportive.
    • Affirm your child. Support your child’s feelings and help validate them as O.K. and understandable. Don’t give the impression that the bullying incident is their fault, or that something is wrong with them that is causing the situation. The bully’s behavior is the problem.
    • Ask questions about the situation. Specifically, what is your child doing to try and stop the bullying? Gather information without being judgmental or overreacting.
    • Encourage your child to use their imagination to come up with solutions. It’s empowering to them to think up ways to stop the bullying on their own. Support them, but don’t encourage dependence on you.
    • Determine your child’s safety needs. Talk to your child’s teacher and let he or she know what is happening. Report to legal authorities if the situation becomes dangerous.
    • Don’t confront the bully on your own. It sends the signal to the bully that your child can’t handle the situation.
    • Don’t confront the bully’s parents unless you know them very well.  Bullying may be  seen as an acceptable form of behavior in the bully’s home.
    • Be responsive. Take action to end the situation.
    • Tell you child to have confidence and that “You can handle this.”
    • Don’t encourage students to fight back aggressively, it tends to make the bullying last longer and become more intense. Learning defensive blocks and maneuvers is a good idea.
    • Do encourage your child to look for escape routes, get help from friends, use humor to diffuse the situation and learn how to avoid the bully.