When a child is being bullied, they may not know how to talk about the situation or ask for help. Instead, they may look for ways to avoid school and the bullying situation. Low self-esteem, depression or a sudden drop in grades may be signs that a child is or fears being bullied.

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior where one or more children use social or physical power to intimidate their peers or make them feel unsafe. This can happen in person or online (called “Cyberbullying”) and can include making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, or purposely excluding someone.

As a parent, you have the power to fight bullying. Below are some resources that will help you create a safe and supportive environment for your child, both in school and out.

  • StopBullying.gov

    Learn how to recognize the warning signs of bullying, teach your child to be an active witness, and work with your school and community to create a safe and bully-free environment.

  • The Bully Project

    Bullying can affect your entire family. The Bully Project offers resources for parents to help support their children, model behavior that discourages bullying, and help parents learn to stand up for their children when working with schools to resolve a bullying situation.

  • Know Bullying App

    This free smartphone app features conversation starters and tips on how to listen to and talk to your child about bullying. The app also includes advice on what to look out for and how to address the signs of bullying.

Giving Your Child the Confidence to Stand Up to Bullying

As a parent, you are your child’s greatest teacher and supporter when it comes to bullying. When you spend even 15 minutes a day with your child—building with Legos, doing a craft, or going out for ice cream—you’re fostering a positive, open relationship where they will be more likely to come to you when they see bullying. When you reassure your child that it’s not okay for anyone to intimidate or threaten them or their friends, either physically or emotionally, you’re empowering your child to stand up for themselves and those around them. And by allowing your child to see you treat people with kindness—everyone from your spouse to the checkout clerk at the grocery store, you’re giving your child a blueprint for their own behavior.

In addition, parents who get involved with their children’s schools—by meeting teachers, attending afterschool and sporting events, participating in PTA meetings, and volunteering in the classroom—are also more likely to be able to spot bullying and advocate for their children within the school community. Here are some more tips from the Bully Project about how to help create a bully-free environment for your child and your community.

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