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What Can Parents Do About Bullying?

Updated on September 12, 2013
Diane Lockridge profile image

Lockridge homeschools her children and holds an EdS in Curriculum and Instruction, an MS in Elementary Education, and a BA in History.

Can you recognize the symptoms of bullying?
Can you recognize the symptoms of bullying? | Source

Recognizing the Symptoms of Bullying

Although some people think that bullying is a normal part of growing up, the facts remain that bullying, teasing, and different forms of aggression can indeed harm a child emotionally and physically. But what can— and should— parents do if they suspect thier child is a victim?

While the victim ultimatly has a responsibility to report all forms of bullying — such as cyberbullying and cyberstalking — parents should be on the lookout for behaviors that may indicate problems. Common symptoms of relational aggression include:

· dropping grades

· peer rejection

· social anxiety

· loneliness, depression

· lack of self-worth

· behavior problems

· frequent headaches & stomach aches

· absenteeism

Treating and stopping the bullying is important for victim and bully alike. Schaffner (2007) notes, “when young women are treated with disrespect and aggression, they learn to respond with it” (p. 1235). If the cycle is not stopped, the victim can become the bully to someone else.

While the Bully OnLine website suggests, “don’t respond, don’t interact, don’t engage,” with a bully, parents should help their child cope with the bullying process by compiling a “bully journal” or record of all the incidents of bullying. In the journal your child should include information such as the times, places, locations, witnesses, and events that happened (Advisory Centre for Education). Print out copies of the written communication from the Internet or social media sites; printed documentation serves to further prove the circumstances; this serves as a bullying journal, which can be used when contacting the school administration or local authorities, depending upon the severity of the bullying.

Parents don't have to stand by helplessly when their child is bullied. They can recognize the symptoms of relational aggression and ultimately help their child by alerting authorities and getting the bullying to stop.

Video Describing the Parent's Role in Bullying


Advisory Centre for Education. (2010). Tackling bullying: a practical guide to parent’s legal rights.

Bully OnLine. “Cyberbullying on the internet”.

Schaffner, L. (2007). Violence against girls provokes girls’ violence: from private injury to public harm. Violence Against Women. 13:1229. doi: 10.1177/1077801207309881

Young, E. L., Nelson, D. A., Hottle, A. B., Warburton, B., & Young, B. K. (2011). Relational aggression among students. Education Digest. 76(7), 24-29. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Video On Cyber-Bullying


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    • Diane Lockridge profile image

      Diane Lockridge 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I am sorry to hear about your situation.

      The nursery rhyme "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" is WRONG... words can hurt a lot longer than wounds.

    • bingskee profile image

      bingskee 6 years ago from Quezon City, Philippines

      my son was a victim of bullying during the primary grades. he did not tell me about it until he had graduated in high school. he kept it to himself and i asked him why he did not tell me. he said he could manage. but then again, i felt afraid and thought of the effect on him. it looked like he's okay and i think he had coped with it well.

      but not every child can handle it the same way he did. i felt really sorry for my son because i was not there to support him address the issue. i am thankful though he was able to be strong for himself.