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Health & Parenting

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Bullying - Topic Overview

How do children who are bullied act?

Children who are bullied are often quiet and shy. They may have few friends and find it hard to stand up for themselves. They may begin to think that they deserve the abuse.

What can children do if they are bullied?

Children are often scared and angry when they are bullied. They may not know what to do. Teach them to:

  • Talk back. Say, "Leave me alone," or "You don't scare me." Have your child practice saying this in a calm, strong voice.
  • Walk away. Don't run, even if you are afraid.
  • Tell an adult. A parent or teacher can then take steps to stop the bullying.

What can you do to stop bullying?

Bullying can be stopped if people pay attention and take action.

Bullying most often occurs in school, and it is most common in schools where students are not well supervised. If bullying is happening at your child's school, talk to the principal or vice principal. Urge the school to adopt a no-bullying policy. All children should know that those who bully will be disciplined. Children who are bullied should be supported and protected.

As a parent, you can help your child get involved in new hobbies or groups, such as school clubs or church youth groups. Being part of a group can help reduce bullying. Having friends can help a child have a better self-image.

Kids can help keep other kids from being bullied. If you are a kid, don't let yourself be part of the problem.

  • Speak up when you see someone else being picked on. It can help to say something like, "Cut it out. That's not funny." If this is too hard or scary to do, walk away and tell an adult.
  • If someone sends you a mean email about another person, don't forward it to others. Print it out and show it to an adult.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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