When your child is being bullied and you don’t know what to do it can leave you feeling helpless. I know firsthand, when my son’s friend turned against him and tried to turn the entire class of boys against him I felt so overwhelmed. I had no idea how to solve the problem and I felt powerless. We managed to not only turn the situation around but also stop the bullying and empower our son at the same time.
There are actions you can take and solutions to help stop your child’s bullying. It is easy to blame the other child or teenager, but if your child is continually being bullied there is some behavior that your child needs to change to stop being a bullying magnet.
Kids and adults can smell weakness in another person, they can sense when someone is not confident by the way that they carry themselves and interact in the world. One boy shared that you can tell how popular a kid thinks that they are by the way that they walk.
Many well-intentioned parents will tell their kids to just ignore a bully, that they shouldn’t talk back to mean kid, but then the situations get worse and can escalate. Ignoring something will not make it go away; you are just giving the bully more power and a free pass to torment your child.
There are three things parents can do to stop your child’s bullying
1. Report the bullying to the school, the school is legally obligated to take action
2. Teach your child how to verbally defend themselves and deflect bullies
3. Teach your child to be more confident and assertive
Get the details of what has been going on at school, ask your child questions to find out the full story, sometimes kids can’t see the full picture, only a snapshot in time. Find out how long the person has been picking on your child, if the situation has been resolved or if it was a one-off thing or an ongoing situation.
Teach your kids how to verbally defend themselves and how to be prepared for a verbal attack. When a bully insults your child publicly, and your child responds with a comeback that shuts the bully up it gives your child street cred.
The comebacks your child uses don’t need to be rude, they just need to deflect the bully and let them know that your child is not someone they can continually pick on. When a child responds with a quick wit, bullies usually move on to someone who is an easier target.
Our site receives emails from psychologists and teachers requesting comebacks that can help their clients and students. Kids can learn to be more confident and assertive; it is a skill that can be improved with practice.