Learn How You Can Help Kids Prevent or Overcome Bullying

6 min to read
Taking Action to Prevent Bullying

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, bullying in childhood affects least half of all school-aged children, with 10 percent of children being the regular target of bullies. 

While bullying is a negative behavior, not every negative behavior is bullying. The Center of Disease Control defines bullying as actions that are unwanted and aggressive, part of a perceived power imbalance, and repetitive. Knowing the definition can help you and your child identify if a negative behavior is bullying or another type of aggressive behavior or both.

This is why it’s important for Learning Coaches and parents to be familiar with the different types of bullying, the signs of bullying, and what to do if your child is being bullied. As we explore these topics, you and your student will have a better idea of how to handle bullying at school and anywhere else a child is the victim of bullying. 

Types of Bullying

Bullying comes in all forms. A child may experience one or several types of bullying in childhood. These include: 

Physical Bullying

This type of bullying is often the most obvious. Bruises, torn clothing, and scratch marks can all be indications that a child is being bullied physically.

Verbal Bullying

Verbal bullying involves using words, statements, and name-calling to bother children. These types of bullies often pick on the way their targets look or act.


With the rise in popularity of social media, smartphones, and other technology, cyberbullying has become a problem. Bullies hide behind screens as they bully their victims.

Signs a Child is Being Bullied

A child can show many signs that they are the victims of bullies. Here are some things to look for: 

Physical Signs

One of the major signs of bullying in childhood comes in the form of bruises, scrapes, and unexplained injuries. But some of the less visible signs are frequent headaches and stomachaches, especially  if a child becomes increasingly worried about becoming a target. 

Look to see if a child is wearing long sleeves and pants when it’s not warranted. This may be a sign that they are trying to cover up injuries. 

Changes in Routine or Interests

Does your student suddenly not want to go to practice or avoids certain areas at the park? If so, they may be trying to avoid someone or something that is bothering them. Keep an eye out for this type of behavior because it can be a signal of bullying in childhood. 

Different Eating Habits

Changes in appetite can also be a sign that a child is being bullied. Binge eating or skipping meals can be a result of emotional distress caused by bullying. 

Trouble Sleeping

If bullies are bothering your student, they may have trouble sleeping or be having frequent nightmares. 

Aggressive Behavior or Mood Swings

Unexplained mood swings, aggressive behavior, or crying frequently can all be red flags that a child is being bullied.  

Ways to Prevent Bullying

While you can’t control another child’s behavior, you can try to prevent your student’s exposure to bullying. Here are some suggestions: 

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

If a child knows they can talk to you about bullying or a problem they are having, they can be more likely to come to you when the problem begins, rather than wait for it to progress. Be sure your student knows they can always come to you if they are experiencing a problem or just need to talk. They should feel like they are not alone if they are having an issue. 

Be a Model of Kindness

One way to prevent bullying in childhood is to be a model of kindness for your student. Treat others with kindness and respect so that they know how to treat others as well. Children are always watching adults’ actions. When they see adults avoiding bullying, they may be more prone to act in the same way. 

Set Boundaries with Technology

Since cyberbullying can be a big issue among children, set boundaries with technology. Teach your student not to respond to negative comments they receive online. Encourage them to come to you if they suspect troublesome activity or if someone is bothering them.

You may also want to set parental controls so you can see what is going on when they use their devices. Also, have your student leave any devices in a common area at night so that they are not in their rooms where you can’t see them. If you notice any threatening messages, it’s important to document them and report them to the proper authorities.

How to Help Your Child Overcome Bullying

Parents and Learning Coaches also should know how to help a child who has been bullied. Overcoming the trauma is an important part of their development.

Here are some things you can do: 

Be Supportive 

If your student comes to you and tells you that they’ve been bullied, be supportive. Some kids often feel embarrassed and think they’ve done something wrong when that is not the case. You want to calmly listen to them and reassure them that the situation is not their fault. 

Consider Outside Counseling

Bullying in childhood can have many effects. An outside counselor can often help a child to work through the pain and trauma. They may feel more comfortable sharing their feelings with a stranger. A professional counselor can also have tools that can better help a child work through their issues.  

Build Confidence

Being bullied can severely impact a child’s confidence. You can help to rebuild it by highlighting the good things they do and encouraging them to participate in activities they love. This will not only help to build their confidence but also to help them find new, more positive relationships. 

Teach Conflict Resolution

Teaching kids conflict resolution and strong communication skills is one way to equip them to combat bullying behaviors. This type of awareness can also increase their emotional intelligence, which can aid them in tough situations for a lifetime.    

Online Anti-bullying Resources for the Entire Family

Here are some ways everyone can learn more about bullying, work to prevent it, and help a child overcome being the target

  • Learn how to properly handle bullying, recognize the warning signs, and much more, at StopBullying.gov.
  • Find activities, crafts, and learning activities to help raise awareness about bullying on the Connections Academy Pinterest board.
  • Start a conversation with your family about the negative effects that bullying and name-calling can have on others.

Involvement in your student’s life can help them learn how to avoid and confidently handle bullying situations. We hope these tips and resources can make a difference in your student’s life!

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