My son hates going to school because there's a boy who teases and picks on him every day. What can I do to help him?
Having to deal with a bully is hard for kids — especially at school.
Listen to your son's worries and convey that they're perfectly understandable and that it's OK for him to feel that way. Offer assurance without making him feel like you're trying to talk him out of feeling that way or dismissing his feelings.
As he tells you how he feels, be sure to repeat back his thoughts and feelings using phrases like, "I know you're feeling worried." When he feels understood by you, he'll be more receptive to your help and any advice on coping that you offer.
Let him know that everyone worries, even adults, at one time or another. But also make sure he knows that there are ways he can feel better and less fearful. Go over some strategies that he can use if someone teases him. Ignoring the bully and simply walking away or using humor to combat aggressiveness might get the bully to stop. Bullies often give up when they don't get a response from their target.
Try to get your son to talk about what has been going on at school — just listening can be helpful.
Although kids can resolve many incidents of bullying on their own, do keep an eye on the situation. If it persists, get involved by talking to your child's teacher or school counselor.
Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: January 2014
|It's My Life | PBS Kids GO! A safe, fun site for kids covering many topics, from handling divorce and bullies to learning about the dangers of drugs, alcohol, and smoking - plus lots more.|
|National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) NCPC is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to prevent crime and build safer, more caring communities.|
|Stop Bullying This U.S. government website offers valuable resources for kids and adults on bullying awareness, prevention, and intervention.|
|Kids Talk About: Bullying (Video) Hear what real kids have to say about bullying and how it feels to get bullied or watch it happen to someone else.|
|Helping Kids Cope With Cliques With cliques prevalent in middle and high school, most kids encounter them at some point. Here's how parents can help kids maintain confidence and self-respect while negotiating cliques.|
|Sexual Harassment and Sexual Bullying Just like other kinds of bullying, sexual bullying is intended to hurt, offend, or intimidate another person. Find out how to recognize sexual bullying and harassment and what to do.|
|5 Ways to Bully-Proof Your Kid Take the target off your kid's back with these smart tips.|
|Cyberbullying Cyberbullying is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass or target another person. Here are some suggestions on what to do if online bullying has become part of your child's life.|
|What Kids Say About: Bullying If you have been bullied, you know how bad it feels. But you might not know how many other kids have felt exactly the same way.|
|Dealing With Peer Pressure Did you ever feel like another kid was trying to get you to do something you didn't want to do? If so, you've felt peer pressure. Find out more in this article for kids.|
|Helping Kids Deal With Bullies Unfortunately, bullying is a common part of childhood. But parents can help kids cope with it and lessen its lasting impact.|
|Teaching Kids Not to Bully Whether bullying is physical or verbal, if it's not stopped it can lead to more aggressive antisocial behavior - and interfere with a child's success in school and ability to form and sustain friendships.|
|Cyberbullying Using technology to bully is a problem that's on the rise. The good news is awareness of how to prevent cyberbullying is growing even faster. See our tips on what to do.|
|Dealing With Bullying Bullying has everyone worried, not just the people on its receiving end. Learn about dealing with bullies, including tips on how to stand up for yourself or a friend.|
|Why Is My Child Anxious About Going to School? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Kids Talk About Bullying (video) Hear what kids say about being bullied, and how they handle it.|
|Teens Talk About Bullying (Video) Hear from teens who've been bullied - and what they did about it.|
|Teens Talk About Bullying (Video) In this video, teens talk about their experiences with bullying.|
|When Should I Intervene During Teasing? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Dealing With Bullies No one likes a bully. Find out how to handle them in this article for kids.|
|How Do I Help a Kid Who's Bullied? Being bullied stinks. But what if you see it happening to someone else? You can help. Find out how.|
What to expect when coming to Akron Children's
For healthcare providers and nurses
Residency & Fellowships, Medical Students, Nursing and Allied Health
For prospective employees and career-seekers
Our online community that provides inspirational stories and helpful information.