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Stand Up to Bullying in Five Simple Steps

Child raising fist to another child

Bullying happens more often than parents, or school principals, would like to admit. If your child is being bullied at school, don't ignore it. Let your school administrator or child's teacher know what's going on and then teach your child how to respond in a healthy, responsible way with these five tips.

  1. Don't be a Loner. Bullies often pick on children who don't have friends to protect them at school. Friends give children physical and emotional support. Help your child make friends by exposing him to activities where he can find other kids that share his interests. Identify and correct bad habits he might be displaying that alienate him from others.
  2. Avoid the Instigator. Tell your child to avoid the bully whenever possible. If he doesn't physically encounter the bully, the bully can't physically hurt him. 
  3. Find an Ally. Instruct your child to find a teacher or an older, influential or popular classmate if the bully becomes aggressive. 
  4. Be Strong. Crying excessively or playing up the victim role only attracts more attention from bullies. Teach your child to be confident and firm with a bully. By learning how to stand his ground, your child can discourage a bully from targeting him.
  5. Seek Help. If your child is bullied frequently or excessively, or if he becomes severely anxious or depressed, seek professional help and continue to report the violent behavior to school officials.

Schools are supposed to have zero tolerance policies in place to deal with reports of bullying. If you don't see a change after alerting school administrators, you can contact your local school district office or school board. If you would like more help addressing your specific situation, trained counselors are available at the Boys Town National Hotline ®. Call 1-800-448-3000 or email us today.