Stop Bullying: How to Protect Your Child

Bullies exist everywhere, especially on the Internet

As children or young adults, most of us have had at least some encounter with a bully. But in today’s society, our children can be confronted both through physical contact with a bully and through a cyber-bully.  How do you prepare your child for something like this?


  • Aggressive behavior that is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.
  • It is an imbalance of power: others use their power – physical strength, embarrassing information or popularity – to control or harm others.
  • Repetition:  these behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen over and over.
  • Cyberbullying takes place using electronic devices, i.e. cell phones, computers and tablets, social media, text, chat and websites.

 Discuss bullying:

  • Talk to your kids and help them understand what are bullying behaviors and how to stand up to it safely.  Tell them that bullying, whether giving or receiving the abuse, is unacceptable.
  • Make sure your children know where to go to get help if they are a victim of bullying.
  • Check in with your child often and listen to them.  It is important to keep your communication open; know their friends, ask about school and know their concerns.
  • Model how to treat others with kindness and respect.

 Understand bullying:

  • Encourage kids to talk to a trusted adult if they are a victim of bullying or see someone else being bullied. 
  • Talk to them about how to stand up to a bully, teach them how to say “stop” confidently, and what to do if this isn’t successful, like walking away.
  • Discuss strategies for staying safe.
  • Encourage kids to help and be kind to others they see being bullied, or to get adult help.


  • Kids being cyberbullied are often experiencing being bullied in person as well as via electronic media. 
  • This type of bullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • These types of bullying messages can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a wide audience.  They can sometimes be difficult to trace.
  • Deleting these types of messages and images can be difficult after they have been posted and sent.
  • Kids who are cyberbullied are more likely to use alcohol or drugs, skip school, unwilling to attend school, receive poor grades, have low self-esteem and have more health problems.

 Report bullying:

  • Don’t respond or forward bullying messages.
  • Keep any evidence of cyberbullying, record the dates and times they occurred.  Save and print screenshots and text messages and use these images to report to web and cell phone providers.  Block the person who sent the message.
  • When messages contain treats of violence, child pornography or sexually explicit messages or photos taken of someone in a place where they would expect privacy, or involve stalking or hate crimes, it is considered a crime and should be reported to law enforcement.

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