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Should I Approach the Parent of a Child Whom I Believe Is a Bully?

Sad child sitting on a bench

Whether or not you should confront the parent of a child who you suspect is bullying your son or daughter is a difficult decision, primarily because doing so might end up making the situation worse.

Rather than confronting the parent or parents in question, a better approach usually is to give your child the tools he or she needs to address the situation directly.

However, if approaching the parents of a suspected bully seems to be the only way to protect your child, remember the following tips:

  • Make sure you and the other parents are calm
  • Make sure you keep your conversation focused on the behavior in question; don't make it a judgment about the other child or how he or she is parented. For instance, simply saying, "Yesterday, your daughter called my daughter a bad name at recess. Can we talk about this?" is different and less judgmental than saying, "Your daughter is being a jerk to my kid."
  • Bear in mind, too, that you may learn your child engaged in some negative behavior that led to the alleged bullying. Be open to hearing both sides of the story.

The bottom line is this: Approaching the situation in a calm manner will give you the best chance at a positive result.