6 Handy Tricks to Teach Your Kids About Bullying

With so many kids experiencing bullying at an alarming rate, the time to teach them what to do is before it happens! Check out 6 things they need to know now!
Bullying is something that your child will experience at some point in his life, whether he himself is the target or he witnesses it happening to someone else.  22% of students report being bullied at some point during the school year, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics, meaning that almost one in every 4 students is bullied.

With such a high percentage of children experiencing bullying at some point in their school years, it is imperative that parents talk with their children about it, ideally before it begins. What should you teach your child about bullying? While it depends quite a bit on their maturity, these are a few of the basics that every child should know.

6 Things to Teach Your Kids About Bullying

  1. Bullying is never about the person being bullied. No matter what mean things the bully says or does to their target, the target is not at fault. There is something going on emotionally within the bully that is causing him or her to behave the way he is, and it has nothing to do with the targeted person.
  2. Standing up to a bully is the best way to get him to stop. Bullies are looking for someone to pick on, and when that person makes it clear that he will not tolerate it, the bully will move on to someone else.
  3. Telling an authority figure about the bullying is important. No matter what the bully says, the person targeted should always tell a trusted adult what is happening. Not only will telling keep the target from being harmed, but it will also alert the authority figure to be on guard about further incidents with the bully.
  4. Intervene if you see someone else being bullied. One of the most effective means of stopping a bully is for a peer to intervene. If your child feels safe doing so, encourage her to stand up for her classmates who she witnesses being bullied.
  5. Bullying also happens online. Cyberbullying is a major issue in today’s digital world, and it is important to discuss it with your children. Talk with them about how to avoid situations in which cyberbullying can occur but also how to behave responsibly online.
  6. Think about how your words and actions make other people feel. We spend a lot of time and energy preparing our kids for what to do if they are bullied or if they see other people being bullied, but it is just as important to talk with them about not bullying other people. Talk with them often about how to use kind words and actions, treating other people as they want to be treated.

Bullying prevention is a hot topic since there is so much research showing the negative outcomes throughout life for both those who were bullied (according to stopbullying.gov, “depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy”), as well as bullies (alcohol and drug abuse, criminal records, and abuse of others in adulthood).
Teaching our children now how to recognize bullies and how to handle situations involving bullying will not only help them today, but it has greater social implications for the future. And looking out for our future is everyone’s responsibility.

 

What else do you feel it is important to teach your kids about bullying? Share your thoughts below.

26 thoughts on “6 Handy Tricks to Teach Your Kids About Bullying”

  1. Terri Alexander

    My two grandkids have been the victims of bullying – it created such a stressful situation for us all. It’s hard to know the right way to handle it without making it worse. But it is a serious problem that has to be addressed as quickly as possible. Parents need to know, teachers need to know, those in authority need to know – and they must all act for the mental health of all concerned.

  2. Bullying is awful, and something I’ve sadly had to deal with with my eldest. She’s too nice for her own good sadly and won’t stand up to them. It was difficult to deal with to begin with, but we got there in the end 🙂

  3. Bullying is such a scary thing, especially when it happens to your child. When my son was bullied in school, I really wanted to say something to the kid and his parents. It was a lot more difficult to deal with than I ever imagined.

  4. Hugely important topic. We just had another young boy commit suicide over bullying last week and it was a “prank” that his girlfriend played on him.

  5. This is all true. Our kids are often not prepared to deal with bullying that they face while at school. My kids were fine for the first few years, and were able to handle it, but after the age of about 8-9 bullying started to be more difficult for them to handle – lots of parenting talks followed.

  6. I find it very disheartening that bullying is even a problem still. But alas, it is still very prevalent and a huge issue we need to figure how to resolve. I loved reading your tricks–I bet parents will find this very helpful!

  7. Telling us and standing up to bullies were two things that I told my son what to do if he ever gets bullied. So thankful, he never had to deal with it.

  8. I hope i dont ever have to deal with bullies coming after my daughter when she enters school. This mama bear will go down to the school and get to the bottom of it.

  9. These are some great and important tips. Bullying is such a big issues and has been for as long as I can remember. And it can have disastrous effects. Suicide and school shootings come to mind. I think that recent shows about bullying (most recently “13 Reasons Why”) may help to shed even more light on it.

  10. Kelly Hutchinson

    Such a relevant topic, in light of that poor boy who hanged himself after being cyber bullied. My daughter’s friend is currently being cyber bullied. I hope the school catches them.

  11. Great post and hopefully it will help parents talk to their kids more about this topic. Kids who are getting bullied definitely need to speak up and talk to an authority figure ASAP.

  12. These are all very good points. Bullying is something that should be taken seriously and approached early on so that it doesn’t continue. It’s great to empower kids with these tips.

  13. This is awesome information for parents to teach their kids about bullying. It is so important that the kids learn to speak up when they are getting bulled or when they see it in my opinion. Thanks for sharing the information.

  14. These are great tips to think about when being bullied or seeing someone else be bullied. Just make sure that you are safe when you are standing up for the other person, or for yourself. Now a days bullies run in packs and you can get hurt.

  15. Bullying is so prevalent these days. These are great things to teach your kids to help them stand up against bullies.

  16. My son was picked on before he even entered school. Thankfully it was once, he cried about it, I talked him through it and he was okay. Every year though he seems to have a set of kids who pick on him. He’s small for his age and I think that plays a factor in it, but he also has confidence too, he just often lacks confidence as well. Bullying is something every parent should talk about opening with their kids. Let them share and teach them how to help others who are being bullied by telling teachers when it happens.

  17. I am so thankful my children never were bullied in school, nor were they bullies. I would not have tolerated that. It sickens me to even think that this still happens in this day and age. Thank you for giving great tips to help parents who have children struggling with this!

  18. Eloise Maoudj Riley

    this is a sad thought that bullying is around… I had to teach my son this last year (he was attending a rough school and he was bullied for being smart!) he’s in a new school (the top school in Mpls!) and things are much better… It was heart breaking to be his mom and see it effect him… But I DID teach him everything on your list, you are spot on with that! great post : )

  19. My daughters are still super young, so this isn’t a huge concern quite yet, but I am seriously terrified of how it will be once they’re in school- kids are just brutal and social media makes it so much worse!

  20. These are great things to talk to your kids about. Our kids’ school always discusses bullying and their zero tolerance for it. I make sure my kids know to stand up for themselves and other kids.

  21. Doria Miyata Murphy

    This is a great topic to discuss and I think it’s important to start young! My oldest was bullied in kindergarten (pretty severely). I think one of the hardest things is to teach your kids it’s okay and actually important for them to tell you if someone is bullying them.

  22. We have always went over and above to make sure our kids try to be friends with a bully and show them that there is a different way. Sometimes it has worked and other times it has not, but my kids have walked away with their heads held high when it comes to something like this.

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