What to Do if Your Child is Being Bullied

    Children who are bullied are more likely than other children to:

    • Be depressed, lonely, anxious;

    • Have low self-esteem;

    • Be absent from school;

    • Feel sick

    What to do if your child is being bullied

    1. First, focus on your child. Be supportive and gather

    information about the bullying.

    • Never tell your child to ignore the bullying. What

    the child may “hear” is that you are going to

    ignore it. If the child were able to simply ignore

    it, he or she likely would not have told you about

    it. Often, trying to ignore bullying allows it to

    become more serious.

    • Don’t blame the child who is being bullied. Don’t

    assume that your child did something to provoke

    the bullying. Don’t say, “What did you do to

    aggravate the other child?”

    Check your emotions

    A parent’s protective instincts stir strong emotions. Although it is

    difficult, a parent is wise to step back and

    consider the next steps carefully.

    1. Contact your child’s teacher or principal.

    • Parents are often reluctant to report bullying to

    school officials, but bullying may not stop

    without the help of adults.

    2.  Keep your emotions in check. Give factual

    information about your child’s experience of

    being bullied including who, what, when, where,

    and how.

    3.  Emphasize that you want to work with the staff at

    school to find a solution to stop the bullying, for

    the sake of your child as well as other students.

    4.  Do not contact the parents of the student(s) who

    bullied your child. This is usually a parent’s first

    response, but sometimes it makes matters worse.

    School officials should contact the parents of the

    child or children who did the bullying.


    Olweus, D.

    (1993). Bullying At school: What we know and what we can do. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

    Snyder, J. M.

    (February, 2003) What Parents Can Do About Childhood Bullying. Schwab Learning Center, (www.schwablearning.org) Charles and

    Helen Schwab Foundation. Retrieved August 12, 2005, from


    What Parents Should Know about Bullying

    (2002). Prevention Child Abuse America Publication. South Deerfiled, MA. (1-800-835-2671.