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How to Help Your Child Handle Bullies

Updated on August 19, 2007

Bullies aren't just for kids. But teaching kids how to deal with bullies early sets them up with good coping skills for life. Because who hasn't had a relative or coworker try to boss you around? These are great tips for the rest of us too!

Bullying can be serious. To gauge the situation, you need to get the facts without interrogating your child into clamming up. If you suspect your child is being bullied, get as much information as you can. Talk to the teacher, school counselor, and whoever pulls playground duty. When you talk to your child, make observations about particular kids or relationships and then wait for a response.

Bully Busting Skills

Let kids know they are not powerless. Instead of running to the rescue at the first sign of conflict, teach kids how to face the bully themselves. Teach them to boost their own confidence with positive self-talk. I think I can! I think I can! For run of the mill bullies who prey on weakness, this alone can do wonders. Be the bully and let your child role play to practice the new skills. Teach your child to use these tricks to BAIL himself out of a bad situation.

- Be Direct with the bully: "I don't like that. Please stop."

- Avoid the bully

- Ignore the bully

- Laugh: make a joke along with the bully to disarm him

Teach your child to keep emotions out of interactions with a bully. He needs to stick to the facts and speak in terms of what of he thinks rather than what he feels. Although bullies can find your sensitive spots to exploit, they're not empathetic to your pain. Exposing your hurts can instigate even more bullying.

We want to help our kids fend for themselves, but make sure your child knows that if the bully is relentless, makes threats or otherwise frightens him, it's okay to ask for help.

Are You Creating a Bully?

If your child gets bossy, look at your own behavior. Unless you're perfect, you've got to own up to bullying your kids once in a while. We are constantly modeling the behavior our kids will pick up, whether we mean to or not.

  • Do you blame when he does something wrong? What were you thinking?
  • Do you threaten your child? One more time and you'll be sorry.
  • Do you act like a drill sergeant? I said NOW!

And then there's the matter of sarcasm. Each smart remark directed at your child will pay you back tenfold. Trust me on this.

Bullies will always be with us. If you can teach your child now how to deal with them now, he'll thank you later.

Read more from Lela at


Submit a Comment

  • EllenaSmith profile image


    7 years ago from Roseville, California

    We parent. We think that schools are one of the safest places for our children. Most of the year, our children spend more time at school than anywhere else than our home. However, some schools have problems, such as bullying and theft, which make them less secure. As a mother we want for our children is for them to be safe at all times when they were in school. As a mom every time my child gets home from school, I talk to them about their day, because sometimes your child won't tell you right away if they are having a problem. If ever they were bullied, or anything else makes them uncomfortable talk to them and teach your child to resolve problems without fightin. I would like to share this link, about a service on how to protect your children: Check it out it's interesting:

  • gmwilliams profile image

    Grace Marguerite Williams 

    7 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

    Insightful hub. Great job.

  • helenathegreat profile image


    11 years ago from Manhattan

    This is a great hub about bullying that complements mine very well! Mind if I link this page at the end of my hub?


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