Tips For Dealing With Bullies And Their Victims

What Adults Can Do For A Child Who's Being Bullied

  • Ask about it. Often, due to shame or fear, a victimized child doesn't alert an adult. Signs: sudden school phobia, lack of friends, torn clothing, missing personal belongings, fearfulness and anxiety.

  • Contact school authorities immediately. The school and the child's parents should ensure safety for the victim both to-and-from school as well as during school hours. School administration should outline consequences for the bully, and institute ongoing monitoring. They should also engage the bully's parents in the interventions.

  • Develop the social network of the child. Participation in group activities can integrate the child in the social life of the school and encourage positive friendships.

  • Cite individual cases of bullying as a means to encourage anti-bullying policies in school. Part of this effort should include education of parents, teachers and students about the poisonous effects of bullying on the school.

What To Do For A Child Who's A Bully

  • Deal with the problem early to prevent later, ingrained behaviors.

  • Talk with the child about the behavior and make clear the parents and school will not tolerate any future incidents.

  • Outline the consequences for the child if they continue to bully others in the school.

  • Use the school administration, the child's teachers and the parents to form a communication network.

  • Praise non-aggressive behavior that solves conflict non-violently.

  • Eliminate role models who demonstrate aggressive behavior around the child. This is an important point to raise with the bullying child's parents. Role models may also include a stream of violent TV, video games or printed material.

  • Consider psychological counseling to assist the child in developing socially acceptable interactions with peers.

Quick Tips -- "What If I'm Being Bullied?"

  • Tell someone.
  • Don't accept it.
  • Practice what you wish to say.
  • Keep a diary of what is happening.
  • Don't give up if it takes time.
  • Ask your parents to visit the school.