How to Talk to Your Child About Bullying

How to Talk to Your Child About Bullying

Bullying is a tough topic, but these conversations are vital. Whether your child is the target, the bully, or a witness, knowing you’re a safe person to talk to is key. Let’s dive in!

Creating a Foundation of Trust

  • Everyday Conversations Matter: Chatting about their day shows you’re interested in the good AND the bad.
  • Active Listening: Put down your phone. Reflect back what you hear: “Sounds like that was really frustrating for you.”
  • Honesty Builds Trust: Don’t sugarcoat things. If a classmate is being mean, say so. This opens the door for deeper conversations.

Talking IF Your Child IS Being Bullied

  • Signs to Look For: Unexplained injuries, lost belongings, not wanting to go to school, changes in mood…trust your gut.
  • Reassure Them It’s NOT Their Fault: Victims often blame themselves. Emphasize that the bully is the one making bad choices.
  • Focus on Strategies, Not Revenge: Work together on how to report it to a trusted adult, ways to de-escalate situations, and building a support network.

If Your Child IS the Bully

  • Don’t Minimize: “Kids will be kids” sends the wrong message. Acknowledge the hurt bullying causes.
  • Seek to Understand the ‘Why’: Are they feeling insecure? Mimicking behaviors they see? Understanding the root helps you address it.
  • Emphasize Accountability & Empathy: Focus on making amends and developing healthier ways to handle their emotions.

If Your Child Witnesses Bullying

  • Not Being a Bystander: Discuss how to safely intervene or get help from an adult, even if they’re afraid.
  • Importance of Supporting the Target: Simple acts of kindness make a difference to the person being bullied.


  • “What if my child won’t open up?” Don’t force it, but let them know you’re always there to listen, no judgment.
  • “How do I talk to the school?” Be calm, factual, and solution-oriented.

Resources Section


These talks aren’t one-and-done. Keep the conversation going. By creating a safe space for your child, you empower them to face bullying with strength, whether they experience it firsthand or witness it happening to others.