Skip to main content

Ways To Be There As An Adult - Episode 17

Videos in this Series

4:17 minWays To Be There As An Adult - Episode 17

Ways To Be There As An Adult - Episode 17

Happy 2018! Welcome back to PACERTalks About Bullying, where each week we talk about all things bullying. This month, we are talking all about ways to be there and show you’re together against bullying. Today, we’re sharing tips for adults on how to be there for students who experience bullying.

  • Author: NBPC
  • Duration: 4:17 minutes
  • Date Posted: 1/3/2018

Series: PACERTalks About Bullying - Season 1

We are so excited to be launching our brand new series, PACERTalks About Bullying, where each week we will be talking about all things bullying. In our first episode, we’ll share more about PACER Center and what we do.


Hey there, and welcome back to PACER talks about bullying, and happy 2018! My name's Bailey and we're glad you're here.

This month we are talking all about ways to be there. We hear from students all across the country that when they experience bullying they feel so alone and like no one cares. So this month we're going to share different ways that you can be there for a student experiencing bullying, whether you're an adult, a student or a community member.

In this week's episode we're going to share three ways that you can be there as an adult. Whether you're a parent, an educator, a coach, work in an after school program, or are a community member that cares. We're going to give you some different ideas and ways that you can be there. Let's get into the episode.

The first way to be there if a student shares that they're experiencing bullying with you is to listen to them. Bullying can be a really hard thing for kids to talk about, especially sharing them with adults. Often we find that students have a lot of fear of telling an adult about bullying because they may think it'll get worse or it's their fault or it's their responsibility to handle, which none of that is true. So when a student does share with you that they are experiencing bullying, just listen to them at first. Get as much information as you can about how the bullying's made them feel, what steps may have been taken already, and how they want your help. It's really important just to ask open ended questions and give them the opportunity to share with someone what's been happening.

The second way to be there for a student experiencing bullying is to talk with them. Two really great messages to reinforce is that they're not alone and that it's not their fault. So often we hear from students who experience bullying that they feel like it's their fault or they feel like they have to handle it on their own. Let them know that you're there for them, that they don't deserve to be bullied, but they deserve to be safe and supported at school, and that together you can develop an action plan.

Some common reactions that we hear from adults may be things like telling the child to ignore it, or to fight back, or taking matters into your own hands as an adult. While these all express genuine caring intentions, we find that they may not be the most helpful responses.

So for example, telling the child to ignore it, chances are they probably have been trying that and it hasn't been working, so they need some additional support. Along with that, telling the child to fight back, we often find that these have more negative consequences than positive results and they need some additional ways to be a self-advocate and ask for what they need.

And the third way to be there is to support and empower the child. After listening and talking with them, encourage them to develop an action plan with you. This can include some steps that you can take and intervention strategies that they can use as well. Make sure that the plan is really tailored to the child's strengths to help build self-confidence and resilience and help them learn self-advocacy skills. So how do they ask for what they need? Think about who else you can involve in this action plan, whether it be another teacher at school, coaches, or other individuals within the community that the child interacts with.

It's really important to make sure though that the child is at the focus of the action plan and that they're able to regain some of the power that they often lose in bullying situations. And those are three of the ways that you can be there for students experiencing bullying as an adult. If you want more ideas or information you can visit our website

And while that wraps up this week's episode, we'll see you right back here next week, as we're going to share an awesome tool with you that you can use in your school or community to give students, parents, adults, community members ideas on ways to be there. We'll see you next week and remember; together we can all create a world without bullying. See ya!