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Taking the Initiative to React to Bullying as a Parent

On the surface, bullying may not seem as serious as drug use or carrying weapons to school, but it can have severe long-term effects.

harmful effects of bullying

Bullying involves intentionally tormenting someone verbally, physically or psychologically. It can range from extorting money and possessions or hitting, shoving and threatening to name-calling, shunning others or spreading rumors about them. In the past, it was all confined to a certain place e.g. school. However, with the rise of social media and constant connectivity, bullying can go on 24/7.

Instead of brushing off this bad behavior and telling our children to “toughen up”, it’s time parents paid attention. Bullying can leave deep emotional scars and in severe cases, it can affect your child’s sense of self-worth, contributing to tragedies such as suicide.

quotes of positivity

By the Numbers

Before dismissing bullying and its connection to suicide consider this:

Early Warning Signs Of Suicide

Paying attention to your child’s behavior can alert you to any changes that indicate they may attempt suicide. Some signs to watch out for include:

  • Making direct or indirect references to suicide.
  • Depression and withdrawal.
  • Lacking interest in activities they previously enjoyed e.g. sports.
  • Making final arrangements e.g. saying goodbye to you and their friends.
  • Changes in sleeping or eating habits.

If your child shows any of these signs, have a conversation with them and seek professional help if necessary.

Tips To Help Your Child

No parent wants to think of their child being bullied or committing suicide as a result. It is therefore important to get proactive about bullying before things deteriorate.


If your child is being bullied, here’s how you can help:

  • Listen to them. Listen carefully and sympathetically to your child’s report of being bullied. Reassure them that it’s not their fault. Most importantly, do not blame the victim by chastising or criticizing them.
  • Contact the school. While you might be tempted to confront the bully’s parents directly, it is better to report the issue to your child’s teacher or principal. They can then take appropriate action to stop the bullying.
  • Teach your child safety strategies. Remember, hitting back or taking revenge only makes things worse. Instead, encourage your child to act brave, walk away and to report the incident to a teacher, school counselor or another adult.
  • Nurture your child’s self-esteem. Bullying can erode your child’s self-esteem so find ways to nurture it including encouraging them to develop their talents through participating in sports or joining clubs. Also, teach them to carry themselves with confidence and help them improve their social skills so they can make new friends.

Taking the initiative to deal with bullying can help make schools safer and more enjoyable for our children.

Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson is a father, husband, and writer, with experience as a content writer and outreach coordinator for HelpYourTeenNow. Tyler has offered honest advice and humor to struggling parents and teens. Tyler has researched and written on education problems, disorders, the world of social media, addiction, and pressing issues with raising a teen today. Follow Tyler on:
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  • Interesting stats. I actually just finish talking to my friend who’s kids is being bullied and we were talking about the best approach to deal with it. My daughter also got bullied in Kinder and luckily she moved school and her new school, kids were very nice. Hope it continues that way. It’s sad that kids have to go through so much on top of homework. Why can’t everyone just play and have fun on the playground?

  • What an awesome post! This is such an important topic! Kids today are even meaner than when we were growing up, and suicide is claiming lives younger and younger! Parents, this is a call to action as we ALL MUST do better, as our children’s lives depend on it! Thanks for sharing this!!!!

  • This is one of the many reasons I have chosen to homeschool my third child. I wish I would’ve done the same with the first two, now graduated. I hate that even adults get in on the bullying instead of trying to stop it. I will be promoting this guide heavily!

  • Thank You so much for sharing this parent guide for anti- bullying. My niece has experience this first hand and I am actually homeschooling her now as a result. I appreciate you sharing the warning signs and tips for help. I know first hand how that bullying can take a toll on our youth today.

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