How To Deal With A Bully

Bullying Can Be A Serious Problem For Kids

Bullies often cause serious problems that schools, families and neighbors ignore. Teasing at bus stops, taking another child's lunch money, insults and threats, kicking or shoving - it;s all fair game to a bully. Fears and anxieties about bullies can cause some children to avoid school, carry a weapon for protection, or even commit more violent activity.

Although anyone can be a target of bullying behavior, the victim is often singled out because their psychological traits or physical traits. A typical victim is likely to be shy, sensitive and perhaps anxious or insecure. Some children are picked on for physical reasons such as being overweight or physically small, having a disability, or belonging to a different race or religious faith.

  • If a bully is bugging you, walk away, tell a grown-up, hang with friends, or try to talk it out.
  • Don't be a bully yourself. Treat others with kindness.
  • Stick up for kids who are being bullied.

What Parents Can Do To Help

  • Listen to your children. Encourage children to talk about school, social events, other kids n class, and the walk or ride to and from school so you can identify any problems they may be having.
  • Take children's complaints of bullying seriously. Children are often afraid or ashamed to tell anyone that they have been bullied, so listen to their complaints.
  • Watch for signs that children may be a victim of bullying such as withdrawal, a drop in grades, torn clothes or needing extra money or supplies.
  • Tell the school immediately if you think that your children are being bullied.
  • Don't bully your children yourself, physically or verbally. Use nonphysical, consistently enforced discipline measures as opposed to ridiculing, yelling at, or ignoring your children when they misbehave.
  • Help children lean the social skills they need to make friends. A confident, resourceful child who has friends is less likely to be bullied or to bully others.
  • Praise children's kindness toward others. Let children know that kindness is valued.
  • Teach children ways to resolve arguments without violent words or actions.
  • Teach children self-protection skills - how to walk confidently, stay alert to what's going on around them and to stand up for themselves verbally.