Tips for Families to Prevent & Address Bullying

  1. Keep the lines of communication open.
    Check in with your kids often. Know their friends, ask about school, and understand their concerns. Encourage them to share problems and concerns with you.
  2. Help kids understand bullying.
    Talk about what bullying is and how to stand up to it safely. Tell kids bullying is unacceptable. Remind them that no one deserves to be bullied. Raise awareness so that targets and witnesses will feel comfortable enough to speak up.
  3. Remind kids to stop and think before they say or do something that could hurt someone.
    Model compassion and respect. Children learn by imitating parents and other adults. Be a good example for your child.
  4. Thoroughly investigate the situation.
    Take the time to fully understand what happened, who was involved, and how it all started. Getting to the root cause of the behavior will help you develop an appropriate response – whether your child was the target, a bystander, or the one bullying someone else.
  5. Encourage youth to tell the aggressor that this is bullying and it is not appropriate.
    Let your child know it’s appropriate to walk away to a safer place. Tell them to report the incident to a school staff member.
  6. Learn about your child’s school’s bullying policies.
    Emphasize that the school staff cares about safety and has a process to assist your child. If your child is bullied, schedule a meeting with school staff.
  7. Talk to other families to raise awareness.
    Determine the extent to which bullying is occurring among other kids. Alert other parents if your child is being bullied as this will prompt them to ask about their kids’ own experiences.
  8. Find out about your school district’s anti-bullying policy and procedures.
    Become familiar with what your district’s policy says. School district policies are often posted on districts’ websites or you can request a copy from the school or district office.
  9. Make sure your child feels (and is) safe and secure.
    Convey unconditional support. Show your child through words and actions that you want to help them make the bullying stop.
  10. Watch for emotional distress.
    If your child shows signs of emotional distress seek help immediately.