What NOT to do if your child is bullied

  • If a child tells you s/he is being bullied:

    1. Do NOT tell them to stand up to the bullying.
      • It's not the child's fault, nor their responsibility to stop bullying.
      • Instead, try to teach them to be assertive (not aggressive).
      • Encourage her/him to seek out positive, healthy friendships.
      • Discuss the issue with the teacher, coach or others who can monitor the situation,
      • And encourage peer groups to intervene when bullying happens.
    2. Do NOT tell them to ignore it.
      • It is a serious situation, and most likely avoidance hasn't or won't work.
      • Listen and bolster their sense of self-worth, support their strengths,
      • And guide them to focus on the positive aspects and people in their lives.
    3. Do NOT try to fix it for them.
      • Keep the trust and confidence of the child who comes to you - they came for advice.
      • DO tell other adults who can help, but
      • Confronting the offender or her/his parents will probably not be effective.
      • Listen and brainstorm possible solutions with the child-
      • Empower them in the response.      

    (For more information, go to: http://www.prevnet.ca/bullying/parents and scroll down to get age-specific tips.)

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