What is bullying? Bullying happens when someone hurts or scares another person on purpose. The person being bullied has a hard time defending himself or herself. Usually, bullying happens over and over. ​

Examples of bullying include:

  • Hitting, kicking, shoving and other physical kinds of bullying

  • Taunting, teasing, name-calling

  • Spreading rumors about others

  • Excluding or ignoring others in a mean way

  • Taking money or other belongings

  • Sending mean e-mails or notes

Standing Up to a Bully 

If your child is verbally bullied, teach him or her how to respond effectively.  Discuss the following strategies with your child.  Practicing the strategies with you or another trusted adult will help develop the confidence to end the bullying. If the bullying is happening at school, speak to your child's classroom teacher or advisor so they can help. 

Ignore the Bully
Teach your child to ignore the bully.  Your child should not make faces, cry, sigh, or make any gesture signaling distress.  Often, when bullies don't get a reaction, they stop. 

Walk Away 
head up, back straight and with a normal walking pace.  Your child needs to be aware of being followed and walk to a safer place, usually near adults.  If the bully says mean things, continue to ignore and walk away.  

Tell the Bully to "Stop"
Keeping a distance of 1½ to 2 arm lengths, have your child say, "Stop!" or, "Cut it out!"   Teach your child to:

  • Make eye contact.

  • Express confident body language; head up, back straight, arms down in front or on the side of the body and feet at shoulder width. 
  • No fidgeting!

  • Speak clearly - a steady tone, not too loud, too soft, whiny or sarcastic.  

  • Make short statements such as, "Stop!" or "Cut it out!"

  • Then turn and walk away.

Go to a Trusted Adult
When other strategies fail, or there is immediate danger, tell your child to go to a trusted adult.  This is not tattling; this is requesting assistance with a serious problem.

What do I do if my child is bullying others?
Make it clear to your child that you take bullying seriously and that you will not tolerate this behavior. 

  • Develop clear and consistent rules within your family for your children’s behavior. 
  • Praise and reinforce your children for following rules and use non-physical, non-hostile consequences for rule violations. 

  • Spend more time with your child and carefully supervise and monitor his or her activities.

  • Find out who your child’s friends are, and how and where they spend free time.

  • Build on your child’s talents by encouraging him or her to get involved in pro-social activities (such as clubs, music lessons, non-violent sports). 

  • Share your concerns with your child’s teacher, counselor, and/or principal. 

  • Work together to send clear messages to your child that the their bullying must stop.

  • If you and/or your child need additional help, talk with a school counselor and/or mental health professional.   



  Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center

  Stomp Out Bullying



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