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5 Steps For Talking About Bullying With Your Child

5 Steps For Talking About Bullying With Your Child

Over the past few weeks on PACERTalks About Bullying, we've been sharing reasons why students might not tell an adult about a bullying situation. This is why having conversations about bullying with your child - early and often - is so important. On today's episode, we are going to share 5 steps for talking with your child about bullying.

  • Author: NBPC
  • Duration: 4:42 minutes
  • Date Posted: 12/19/2019

Series: PACERTalks About Bullying - Season 3

We are thrilled to return for a third season of PACERTalks About Bullying with more interviews, stories, and tips on making the world a kinder, more accepting, and more inclusive place. New this season is the “60 second response,” in which students, adults, and PACER's NBPC staff help answer your most frequently asked questions about bullying prevention.


>> Hey everyone! Welcome back to PACER Talks About Bullying. I am Bailey. We're so glad you're here.

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The past few weeks, we have been talking all about reasons why students might not tell an adult about a bullying situation. As we know, about 57% of students who experience bullying don't report it to an adult. This is why it's so important to have the conversation about bullying with your child, early and often. So they know what bullying is, and what they can do if they ever experience it. In this week's episode, we'll be sharing 5 steps you can take to start that conversation about bullying with your child. Now that you know more about this week's video, let's get into the episode.

Step number 1, start by talking about what bullying is. An important foundation in the conversation about bullying is to help your child understand how do I know if it's bullying? Emphasize that bullying is different than conflict or disagreement with friends or classmates. While the definition might vary based on your child's age, a good starting point to share is that bullying is when someone is hurt by words or actions. It's done on purpose. It usually happens more than once. And the person being bullied has a hard time stopping what's happening to them. Let your child know that bullying can be physical, like hitting or pushing. It can be emotional, like leaving someone out on purpose or making fun of someone. Or it can even be cyber, like sending mean text messages or writing negative comments about someone online. No matter the type, emphasize that bullying is never ok. And no one ever deserves to be bullied.

Step number 2, let your child know that you're on their team and that they never have to handle bullying on their own. Tell your child if they ever experience bullying, that you want them to let you know what's happening. And that you'll be there for them, even if they're unsure if it's bullying or if someone is just being unkind. Let your child know that they can come to you and that you'll figure it out together. If it is bullying, share that you'll create an action plan as a team, to stop what's happening and they don't have to do it on their own.

Step number 3, talk about other ways they could take action if they experience bullying at school. Along with reinforcing the importance of telling you about bullying, this conversation is a great time to discuss other potential ways they could take action if they experience bullying at school. It's important to involve your child in thinking through solutions. And this is the perfect opportunity to do that. Ideas could include sharing with another trusted adult, like a teacher. Reaching out to their friends. Or even thinking through how they might respond to a bullying situation.

Step number 4, discuss what your child can do if they see bullying happening. About 80% of students play the bystander role in a bullying situation. So while it's important to talk with your child about what they can do if they experience bullying, it's just as important to talk with your child about what they can do if they see it happening. Let them know that there's lots of different options they can take. But whatever step they choose, its important that they feel safe. Some potential options and steps that you can share with them include not joining in, reporting to a trusted adult, or even reaching out to the person being bullied afterwards. And letting them know that they're not alone.

And finally, step number 5. Continue to connect and listen. Remember, this isn't a one-time conversation. Continue to check in with your child throughout the school year. And try to have an open and honest conversation about bullying. Reinforce the message that whatever happens, they can always come to you for help along the way.

And with that, that's a wrap on this week's episode of PACER Talks About Bullying. Thank you so much for joining us. We'll see you right back here next week. And remember, together we can create a world without bullying. See ya!