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,
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.
(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.