Bullying comes in many forms, including verbal, physical, sexual, relational (damaging someone’s relationships or social status), and cyber (bullying through electronic devices). Because bullying is very common, chances are that your children will experience it at different points in their lives, perhaps both as victims and as bullies.
Thankfully, there are ways to deal with bullying that help children feel safe and empowered and give bullies opportunities to change. As you teach your children the relevant principles and skills, they can help others and more effectively avoid being on either side of a bullying situation.
If Your Child Is Being Bullied
Whether or not you currently have a child involved in a bullying situation, it is important to create a relationship with your children in which they feel comfortable talking with you about their lives. Encourage them to tell you if they see or experience bullying themselves. You can also watch for changes that may signal that something is wrong: if they become more irritable, sad, or anxious, or if they begin to avoid people or places they used to enjoy, they may be experiencing bullying.
If your child is being bullied or sees someone else being bullied, help him or her take effective, assertive action.