U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Prevent Bullying: Quick tips for parents

Bullying is when a person tries to hurt someone physically or emotionally. Bullying usually happens over and over again.

There are different types of bullying, which include behaviors like:

  • Hitting or pushing
  • Name-calling
  • Spreading rumors
  • Taking or breaking someone’s things

Bullying can be done in person, online, or with cell phones. Talk with your child about bullying before you see signs of a problem.

Tell your child why you are concerned about bullying.

  • “It’s hard to know what to do if someone is picking on you. If you ever have a problem, we can figure out what to do together.”
  • “In our family, we believe that everyone deserves respect. When you say mean things, leave other kids out on purpose, or push and hit, that’s not being respectful.”

Play the “what if” game with your child.

“What would you do if:

  • ...you saw someone getting picked on?”
  • ...someone sent you a mean text message?”
  • ...you hurt someone’s feelings?”

Look for signs of bullying.

Talk with your child about what’s going on at school. Your child might be being bullied if he or she:

  • Doesn’t want to go to school
  • Has cuts or bruises
  • Is acting unhappy or anxious
  • Complains of headaches or stomachaches

Your child might bully other children if he or she:

  • Enjoys teasing other kids
  • Has a hard time controlling anger
  • Is very rough or aggressive

Learn more about bullying.

Talk to other parents and your child’s school to find out how they handle bullying.

  • Find out about the school’s policies on bullying.
  • Talk to your child’s teacher or school counselor if your think your child is involved in bullying.
  • Ask other parents how they help their kids stay safe on social media sites.
Prevent Bullying: Quick tips for parents

Content last updated on:
October 31, 2014