How to Bully-Proof Your Child

Learning how to bully-proof your child is a great way for parents to take an active role in protecting their child against all different types of bullying. Taking a stand against bully by learning how to bully-proof your child is a great way to prevent bullying from continuing to spread among today’s youth.

Kids and teens are prone to be getting bullied by their peers for so many reasons including their appearance, dress, academic ability, disabilities, hobbies or even their social status and parent’s financial status in the community. Kids and teens that are bullied have higher rates of suicide (also known as bullycide) and have low-self esteem, poorer academic performance and overall struggle more to succeed.

Because these repercussions of bullying are becoming more noticed by teachers, parents and other school administrators, schools and parents are taking a more active approach to helping their children become safe from bullying by heavily cracking down on the number of bullies in schools. However, not all schools are taking this active approach against bullying. This is why parents need to learn how to bully-proof their children to help protect them from this unnecessary experiences and severe abuse from their peers. There are all different types of bullying from physical altercations to name-calling, teasing, spreading rumors and cyberbullying. Cases of bullying are also known to happen to even very young children. Parents and teachers need to be on the lookout for cases of bullying that happen even at the preschool age level. This is also the age parents should start teaching their kids not only how to treat others politely and with kindness, but also how to interpret others’ actions and feeling about particular instances.

How to Bully-Proof Your Child:

Researchers including a child psychologist featured in a recent CNN article encourage parents to work with their children even when they are young. It is important to teach your child the difference in their interpretations of life situations. This helps them learn to distinguish between events and feelings. This helps them also understand and relate to the feelings of others. Teaching them these skills early is the best way for them to differentiate how others treat them as they get older. They will be able to determine if how those individuals are treating them is appropriate or not or if they are in fact being bullied.

Another great way to learn how to bully-proof your child is to help them develop a sense of self. Encourage them to learn about themselves and to learn and excel being exactly who they are. Children that struggle to identify who they are, or constantly strive to be their “hero” they are never going to be able to live up to those expectations. This can be detrimental for their self-esteem, which can make them a direct target for bullying. Kids with low self-esteem are less likely to stick up for who they are and make a prime target for kids looking to pick on someone weaker than them.

It is also important to encourage your children to explore activities that make them feel good about themselves. Find something that they are really good at because it will help increase their overall self-esteem and feeling of self-worth. Encouraging courageous behavior is another great way to help learn how to bully-proof your child. You can encourage them to stand up for themselves as well as their peers and other friends. When groups of kids or teens stand together to put an end to a bullying situation, the bully is more likely to back off and won’t mess with your child again. Taking these measures when your child is young is the best way for them to establish early on that they will not stand for bullying. They can grow up with these values and share them with their peers and other friends. This is a great way to help protect your child from bullying situations throughout their live including adulthood.


Bullying Interventions – Stop Bullies Now

With the growing problem of bullying among children and teens, bullying interventions are becoming more and more of a responsibility of parents and teachers. Bullying interventions are necessary to prevent bullies from going too far.

While it is not always possible to prevent cases of bullying, it is important to know what to do as a parent or as a teacher or other school official to do to stop bullying with various types of bullying interventions. Through this tactic, bullies might be able to be successfully put in their place with an end to the bullying. There are a few different steps and ways you can go about preparing bullying interventions. It is best to find a technique that works with different types of bullies, which can range from physical to emotional as well as cyberbullying. According to a study put together by the Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System of the London Family Court Clinic, there are a few different methods for bullying interventions.

First, intervene immediately. Do not overlook a potential bullying situation. It is then important to talk to both the victim and the bully separately. If more than one student is involved, which does happen in many cases of bullying, talk to each one separately. Be prepared for the bully to minimize and deny their actions. By speaking to each person involved separately, you will have the best chance of figuring out the truth of the matter.

Second, remind the bully about the rules established in the school. Or if you are a parent looking to handle the situation, remind them of the rules in your home or in your neighborhood. Bullying is a crime that often occurs with physical violence, stealing as well as through forms of slander and libelous statements that can be made online or behind one’s back. Remind them that by committing these acts, they are susceptible for punishment by the justice system. If this is a first time offense and the results are minimal, make sure the punishment fits the crime. However, if this bully has continually hurt victims, be sure the consequences are much more severe. When talking with the victim, be sure they understand everything possible is being done to ensure a similar instance does not happen again. You want to make sure and gain their trust and confidence. The effects of bullying can be severely detrimental to the victim not only physically but also emotionally. This is why it is important to help them during the process to feel safe and secure again. If you are a parent, be sure to involve the other child (s) parents in the situation to help reach a resolution. If you are a teacher or school administrator, be sure to call both of the parents of the children or teens involved to help reach an understanding and possible resolution. It is important for parents to make sure their children are not taking on the characteristics of bullying. If they are, they need to be stopped before that type of behavior gets out of control. For some children and teens anger management is a serious problem that may need to be addressed in a counseling type setting to help stop the bully from continuing their antics and damage to their peers.

After the punishment has been delivered continuing watching the behavior of the bully. If you are a parent, be sure to keep that child away from your own and help your child or teen learn to avoid bullies. One way to prevent bullying is to help your child develop good self-esteem. Your teen or child doesn’t have to be the strongest kid in the class or on the block to avoid bullying, but good, strong self-esteem is a great way to help them know how to handle a potential bullying situation. Unfortunately bullies target the weak because they know they are an easy target. Do your best to ensure your child is not an easy target. Along with self-esteem, encourage your child to make friends with nice and kind peers. It is important for your child or teen to surround themselves with a positive support group to help remain strong and not become the next victim of a bullying attack. As a teacher or administrator, keeping an eye on the bullying situation is the best way to stay on top of it and stop it before it starts.

Source: tqe,,

How to Handle Bullies

There are a few different ways you can teach your child how to handle bullies. If your child is a victim of bulling in school, at home or cyberbulling, it can be a tough time for them. That is why it is important to teach them how to handle bullies as soon as possible.

There are different types of bullying that children, teens and adults sometimes face throughout the course of their lives. Unfortunately bullying is becoming more and more of an issues as the types of bullying expand to new areas. More and more unlikely suspects are also becoming the bully themselves. For years, many thought bullies were just the classic case of the mean boy out on the playground that would push you down and steal your lunch money. However, times have changes and bullies are coming out of the wood work and are becoming meaner than ever. Many cases of suicide due to bullying, otherwise known as bullycide, are also becoming more and more rampant especially among teens and children who regularly face issues with bullying peers and adults. This is why it is more important than ever to learn how to handle bullies by squashing their attempt at persecuting kids and teens before the situation starts or gets out of control.

Types of bullying:

  • Emotional bullying occurs when rumors are started about someone or a group of individuals. It also happens when malicious or defamatory statements are made about a person or group with the intent to hurt the feelings and emotional stability of the target. Emotional bullying can occur in various forms including face-to-face, behind one’s back or anonymously via the Internet and social networking sites.
  • Physical bullying is the most traditional form of bullying and occurs when the victim is injured physically with pushing, shoving, punching, kicking, burning, etc. It also occurs when the bully steals the victim’s personal belongings, destroys personal belongings, clothes, etc.
  • Cyberbullying can occur in the form of emotional bullying, but takes place online via email, social networking sites, blogs and more. Often times cyberbullying is done anonymously and may include the victim becoming ganged up on in a series of bashing and hurtful statements. Many of these rumors and offenses are lies or extensions of the truth but are targeted at the victim because of jealously or the intent to hurt.

Who is bullying?

There are a few different types of bullies that range from the mean kid on the block to the vindicative teen girl behind the computer screen. Bullies also range in the form of groups as well as adults like parents, teachers, coaches and other authority figures.

How to handle bullies:

While taking preventative measures as parents and teachers to work with children and teens who are likely candidates for becoming a bully, is the best option, it is also not always possible. However, if you are a parent or a teacher with a child or student who exhibits behavior problems like anger management issues, troubles in school, difficulty in keeping friends, exhibiting rude and disrespectful behavior and many other similar issues, it is important for you to seek emotional support through counseling for your child. Or if you are a teacher, it is important to recommend the student see the guidance counselor of have the child’s parents take him/her to a counselor for help. In many cases with bullies, the child might have a difficult family or home life and might see domestic violence, emotional abuse and other forms of abuse on a regular basis. They might even be abused or bullied at home by a family member. Children like these need help as soon as possible before they perpetuate the violent cycle by becoming a bully themselves.

If your child is exhibiting signs and symptoms of being the victim of already existing cases of bullying, there are a few tips and ways to teach them how to handle bullies. One of these ways is to take the matter straight to the source of the bully’s parents or to the teacher or authority figures at the school if the bullying is taking place while at school. There is a misconception that if the child reports the incident to a teacher or their parent, they will be at risk for retaliation and even further bullying. However, this is typically not the case. The risk is worth it when it comes to protecting your child against bullying. Another way to teach your child how to handle bullies is to encourage them to travel in packs and maintain a solid group of friends. Having friends and a support group will make your child less likely to be the recipient of bullying attacks. Children who play alone or find themselves with few friends are often the primary targets for bullies.  Lastly, encouraging and building your child or teen’s self esteem in another one of the best ways how to handle bullies. Children and teens with higher self esteem are also not at such a high risk of bullying attacks. If necessary get your child counseling or emotional support to help them build self esteem and to learn how to mentally and emotionally handle bullies.

Bullying Victims – Helping People that Have Been Bullied

When it comes to bullying victims, it becomes apparent that bullying has serious and lasting effects. Kids that have been bullied often experience a series of emotional problems that can last the rest of their lifetime. The effects of bullying are detrimental and dangerous for the victim, getting help for the victims of bullies is crucial.

Many bullying victims take on years of therapy and treatment in order to help get over the psychological pain that bullying has caused.  In many tragic cases, this type of physical and emotional toll on a person can damage their self esteem so much that it results in suicide by the victim. In an effort to prevent that kind of unfortunate ending, here are a few tips about bullying and how to know if your child is a victim of bullying.

Signs that may indicate your child is a bullying victim:

  • Comes home with unexplainable injuries
  • Comes home with damaged clothing or other belongings
  • Frequently “loses” items like books, electronics, clothes or other valuable items
  • Tries to find excuses to avoid going to school, is often sick or has other excuses
  • Hurts themselves like with cutting, burning or eating restrictions
  • Loses interest in friends or participating in extra curricular activities
  • Acts afraid of going to school or school activities
  • Appears moody, anxious, depressed or withdrawn
  • Feels helpless
  • Exhibits low self-esteem

Another way to help prevent your child from being one of the many bullying victims is to know what the risk factors are for victims of bullies. When it comes to the bullied victim, the children, teens and adults who are the highest risk are those who don’t get along well with others, have few or no friends, is less popular than others their age, does not conform to social or gender norms, has low self esteem or if they are suffering from anxiety and depression. If your child is exhibiting any of these behaviors they might be at risk for becoming a bullying victim.

It is important to help your child become more social and help them choose friends that are kind and loyal. Having your child around a healthy environment and good group of friends is helpful in keeping them from becoming a victim that has been bullied. It also helps them see their self worth and self value, raising their esteem to where they are able to handle bullies by not allowing themselves to become a target.

When it comes to the serious issues surrounding bullying victims, there are many emotional issues involved. If your child or teen has been bullied and does not show signs of recovery or returning to being their regular self, it is a good idea to consult outside help in the form of counseling or a support group. Many parents forget that even though the actions of the bully has stopped, that does not mean their teen or child has recovered from the emotional damage they received as one of the bullying victims. Bullying can often do long-lasting damage to a person’s self esteem. Without being able to resolve some of these emotional issues, your child is at risk of becoming a bully or he or she might project the lingering feelings of rejection and hurt onto themselves. Children and teens who do this often will face struggles with eating disorders, cutting, burning and other forms of self mutilation. In the most severe cases, teens may not be able to handle the bullying, or may not be able to cope with the after effects of bullying and instead will resort to drastic measures like suicide to escape their pain.

With bullying, the first thing to do in order to protect your child is to stop the bullying. This may be through encouraging your child to report the incidents to a teacher or the school administration. As a parent, you may have to help your child report the bullying to school administrators. The next step is to get help for your child. For some children and teens, they just need an outlet for their emotions maybe through art, writing in a journal, sports or other outlets. However, some teens face higher-risk emotions and need to be professionally treated. Through counseling or support groups, bullying victims can learn to move on and let go of their pain.


Bullying Quiz

With bullying becoming an increasing problem with today’s youth, taking this bullying quiz can help determine if your child is a bully or is being victimized by a bully. It is important to watch out for the warning signs listed in our bullying quiz so you can help help your child.

Unfortunately the number of bullying incidents reported are becoming more and more frequent among both young boys and girls. Children can encounter bullying everywhere from school to the Internet. In this bullying quiz, find out if your child is exhibiting violent signs of bullying, or possible signs of being the victim of bullying.

  1. Does  your child often make excuses not to go to school?
  2. Is your child often angry, sad, depressed, withdrawn or full of self-loathing?
  3. Is your child ever emotionally erratic?
  4. Does your child come home frequently hurt or injured by a particular person or group of people?
  5. Is your child frequently picked on in the presence of others?
  6. Does your child often have his/her belongings missing, stolen or taken?

According to the results of our bullying quiz, if your child is demonstrating any of these warning signs, it might be an indication they are being bullied in some form. If your child is experiencing any of the above scenarios, it might be a good idea to talk to his/her teacher about incidents going on at school. Talk to your child directly to try and find out if they are a victim of bullying.

If your child is a victim of bullying, it is a good idea to sit down with him/her and go over a list of do’s and don’ts to help keep them safe in cases of bullying.

  • Don’t get into a physical fight with a bully or try to retaliate
  • Don’t believe the insults about you
  • Don’t ignore the bullying
  • Don’t waste time in place where a bully might target you, including physical locations as well as online
  • Don’t believe you deserve to get picked on.
  • Do write down how you feel
  • Do learn to say and believe good things about yourself and your personality
  • Do speak confidently to the bully
  • Do walk or run away if a bully tries to hurt you

There are also a few warning signs to look for in our bullying quiz to determine if your child might be a bully at school or online.

  1. Does your child exhibit positive views towards violence?
  2. Is your child often aggressive toward adults including teachers?
  3. Does your child demonstrate a need to dominate or control others and situations?
  4. Is  your male child physically stronger than his peers?
  5. Does your child show out-of-control anger issues?
  6. Does your child often test limits or break rules?
  7. Is your child good at manipulating his/her way out of situations
  8. Does your child show little sympathy toward others who are bullied?

As a parent it is important to teach your child good values about how to treat others. Often times, children who bully do it because they feel bullied as well either at home or by their peers, as indicated in our bullying quiz. By not bullying your children with harsh discipline, a child is less likely to become a bully themselves. For children who bully, it is a good idea to help them talk through their underlying emotional issues in counseling or therapy. Many children also might need to find a creative and physical outlet like sports to help them channel their emotional frustrations.

Sources:Jay McGraw’s Life Strategies for Dealing with Bullies by Jay McGraw,

Stop Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying has become a serious problem for young people and can cause long-term damage to victims and bullies. It is important to stop cyber bullying and get help for the people involved, but it can be hard to know how to stop cyber bullying. Parents and other concerned adults can work together with young people to prevent or stop cyber bullying.

In the last few years cyber bullying has received a lot of attention from the media, as well as from concerned adults and young people. Cyber bullying involves sending hurtful, threatening, or embarrassing messages to or about another person using email, blogs, cell phones, social networking sites, and other electronic media. These technologies are an important part of many people’s social and work lives, but to enjoy the positive benefits of electronic communication, it is necessary to prevent or stop cyber bullying.

Cyber bullying can be worse than other types of bullying because the bully may be anonymous or meaner than they would be in person, and the bullying can come at any time and in any place. Cyber bullying is related to short and long term problems for the victims and the bullies, such as depression, anxiety, poor school attendance and performance, and feeling fear and mistrust toward others. It is important to stop cyber bullying and get help for the victims and the perpetrators.

Though cyber bullying has become unfortunately common, there are some ways that kids, parents, and other concerned adults can help prevent or stop cyber bullying. Parents and other adults can:

  • Explain to kids what cyber bullying is, why it is wrong, and what will happen if the kids engage in cyber bullying, and enforce the consequences if the rules are broken. It can be difficult to accept if you find out your child has been a bully online, but by enforcing the rules it will help them develop better online behaviors.
  • Encourage kids to come to tell an adult if they ever see cyber bullying, either as a victim or a bystander, and help stop cyber bullying by never passing it on.
  • Help kids to be Internet safety savvy. They should know, especially, that they can’t trust that a person online is who they seem to be so they should only share personal information in person and that they shouldn’t share their passwords with anyone except their parents. They should also understand that anything they post online or send through a cell phone may resurface later, so they should not post or send pictures or messages they would not want everyone in the world to see, perhaps even years later.
  • Parents should have access to all of their kids’ accounts, and their kids should know that their parents may check occasionally to make sure their online activities are safe. It is also a good idea to keep computers in a busy area of the house, and out of bedrooms, and parents may also want to have a rule that cell phones must be turned off at certain times. like at night. Though kids do need some privacy, they should understand there is no guarantee of privacy online, and their parents have the responsibility to keep their kids safe.
  • Let kids know that no one deserves to be bullied, and if they are ever the victim reassure them that it is not their fault that they were bullied.

Kids who are the victims of cyberbullying, and their parents, may not know how to react. In some cases it depends on what has occurred, but these general suggestions may help:

  • Don’t punish kids for being the victim. This means parents should not take away their computer or cell phone privileges to “protect” them.
  • Encourage kids not to retaliate against cyber bullies. If they have already done so, encourage them not to do it again, but don’t make them feel like this caused the bullying.
  • When cyber bullying occurs, it is a good idea to document it, either by saving the message, printing it, or saving a screen shot. This provides proof to help stop cyber bullying.
  • When a child is the victim of cyber bullying, talk together with them about the next steps to take, and take the victim’s concerns seriously if they are afraid of the bully.
  • It may be possible to block messages from the cyber bully, or to get a new email address or cell phone number to stop the messages. In some cases, however, the cyber bully may find other ways to attack their victim.
  • In some cases, school administrators might be able to intervene in cyber bullying, or you may be able to contact the bully’s parents about the problem in writing, with a copy of the proof of the bullying and a request for it to stop. In other cases, parents may want to talk to the police or a lawyer about legal options.
  • Parents can contact the bully’s cell phone provider or the host of the bully’s email account or web site to report the cyber bullying. Cyber bullies can often lose their accounts, and possibly their families’ accounts as well, for cyber bullying. Even anonymous cyber bullies can sometimes be traced and stopped through their Internet service provider or cell phone provider.

Many forms of cyber bullying are against state and even federal bullying laws, and in these cases parents can contact the police for help. This is definitely an option to consider when the cyber bully’s attacks have been:

  • Threatening
  • Sexual in nature, including sending suggestive pictures or pictures taken in a private place like a bathroom
  • Extortion, demanding money or something else in return for the cyber bullying to stop
  • Possible hate crimes attacking a person’s ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation
  • Stalking or harassment

Both the victims and the perpetuators of cyber bullying may need counseling and other help to overcome the negative consequences and stop cyber bullying.


National Crime Prevention Council, “What Parents Can Do About Cyber Bullying” [online]

SafetyWeb, “Stop Cyberbullying – Guide for Parents” [online]

Stop Bullying Now! “Cyberbullying” [online]

STOP Cyberbullying web site [online]

Stop Bullying Now Review

Stop Bullying Now! is a web site about bullying provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The goal of Stop Bullying Now! is to educate kids, parents, teachers, and other adults about bullying and how to handle it. This review discusses some of the features, highlights, and uses of the Stop Bullying Now! web site.

The US Department of Health and Human Service’s Stop Bullying Now! website supports their campaign to recognize and stop bullying. The Stop Bullying Now! website includes information, videos, posters, public service announcements, and other materials, all of which can be downloaded and used free of charge in campaigns against bullying. The web site is divided into two main sections,  with one for adults and one for kids. The web page is found at The campaign’s theme is “Take a Stand. Lend a Hand. Stop Bullying Now!”

The kids’ section of the Stop Bullying Now! web site is mainly geared toward “tweens,” or 9 to 14 year olds. The Stop Bullying Now! website was designed with the input of a group of 18 tweens, as well as a few teenagers, from all over the US who had personal experiences with bullying. The kids’ section includes several sections to help young people recognize and combat bullying:

  • Webisodes – short video clips that make up a story showing cartoon characters facing various types of bullying, and how these characters deal with it. Each webisode is followed by a few questions to help kids think about what they just watched. These would be helpful for parents who watch the webisodes with their kids and talk to them about what they are seeing.
  • Short info pages for kids explaining what bullying is and some ways they may want to handle it
  • Questions from other kids about bullying with answers from experts
  • A quiz to help kids know if they have ever acted like a bully
  • Games

The Stop Bullying Now! section for adults has more specific information that adults might find useful:

  • Facts and statistics about bullying, including specific information about kids who bully and kids who are bullied
  • A section on cyber bullying
  • A list of states that have laws against bullying
  • News related to bullying and efforts to stop bullying
  • Downloadable webcasts to watch and share with others
  • Links to other resources about bullying
  • Ideas and resources for starting a Stop Bullying Now! campaign

Stop Bullying Now! offers specific information and tips for adults in various roles, including:

  • Parents and family members
  • Teachers
  • School administrators
  • Law enforcement
  • Medical and mental health professionals
  • Youth advisors and leaders

Some of the information provided in these sections includes best practices for bullying intervention, tips to help parents talk to PTAs or school faculty members about bullying problems, and advice to help determine the extent of bullying problems at a school. There is some overlap of material between the different sections, and sometimes finding the information you are looking for requires clicking through several links.

The Stop Bullying Now! website is an excellent resource for kids and adults looking for information about bullying, including how to recognize bullying and advice on how to prevent or stop it. The fact that the materials may be downloaded and used to teach about and help prevent bullying is an especially useful feature. The links to other web sites are also helpful since, though the Stop Bullying Now! web site has a lot of information, some people may want more or different help than what the web site provides. Teens may find some of the information helpful, but they may not connect with all of the parts of the kids’ web site, and the information on the adults’ website is often not pertinent to them.

Parents will find a lot of information from Stop Bullying Now! to help them understand bullying and get tips on how to approach the problem if their child is a bully or a victim of bullying. Another excellent use of this site for parents is starting a conversation with their kids about bullying. Parents can watch the webisodes and do the activities with their kids and use this as an opportunity to explain that bullying is wrong and to find out if their kids have ever seen or been involved in bullying, as a bully or a victim. If they find that their child does have a problem related to bullying, the web site offers some good tips. Of course, parents who have serious concerns about their child and bullying may also need to talk to a doctor or mental health professional to get further counseling and advice.

OLWEUS Bullying Prevention Program

Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) claims the be the bullying program based on the most research and the the world’s foremost bullying prevention program. This article provides a Olweus Bullying Prevention Program review and helps define bullying.

OLWEUS was developed by Dr. Dan Olweus, a psychology professor from Norway, and based on his systematic research on bullying, which he has been carrying out since the early 1970s. After three teens died by suicide in Norway in what was thought to be a response to serious peer bullying. Dr. Olweus developed the first version of his program. For more about this program, keep reading.

Dr. Olweus’s interests were never confined to Norwegian schools. His proposals for anti-bullying legislation to protect school children were enacted in Sweden and Norway by the mid-90s. His work with American colleagues to adapt Olweus Bullying Prevention Program to the United States also began in the mid 1990’s, and he worked mainly in conjunction with Dr. Susan P. Limber of Clemson University in South Carolina.

The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is designed for students in grades 3-10, and its adaptation to high school can be discussed. It is a program of some duration, since it says it can be effective with younger students in as little as 8 months, and with older students may require several years. It is important to note that it is not  a program aimed at the bullies in the school or even just at the bullies and victims: it is a schoolwide program, that is implemented at the school level, the classroom level, through individual students, and in the community.

What Is Bullying?

The definition of bullying that Dr. Olweus uses, according to the FAQs on the site is: “A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the  part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself.”  The FAQs go on to give a list of forms of bullying including physical and verbal bullying, being threatened or forced to act, being excluded or gossiped about, having property taken or damaged, and racial, sexual, and cyber bullying.

It is important to note that the Olweus program has a circumscribed definition of bullying. First, although bullying may often occur as a pattern of behavior, being forced to do something or having one’s lunch money stolen once is still a problem. It is not clear how one-time incidents fit into Dr. Olweus’s calculus. Second, this definition either excludes, ignores, or leaves to other programs some particularly troubling cases of bullying. By explicitly stating that “Bullying is a form of peer abuse” later in the FAQs, the program rules out consideration of both the bullying of teachers and school staff by students as well as the bullying of students by teachers and school staff. Perhaps they propose that some other term be applied in this situation, but if so, it is not clear from a reading of their FAQs. Third, some very damaging, but subtler forms of bullying are not mentioned, for example, mocking someone through imitating their mannerisms or style of dress or following someone.

The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) has a State School Healthy Policy Database, where you can find the legislation your state has enacted related to bullying, harassment, and hazing, as well as examine the situation in other states. This material is likely to provide your state’s definition of bullying.

Cost of the OLWEUS Bullying Prevention Program

The cost of the program consists of the cost of program materials and training, at minimum.

Program materials include a survey for each student which is either $0.95/student or $34.50 for 30 students with scanning services or $28.50 without (in which case the data must be hand entered). The schoolwide guide is $89.95, a single teacher guide is $55.00, the school staff DVD training program is $175.00, and the book Bullying at School is $28.95. The curriculum for Grades 6-12 is $99.00. Resources for grades K-5 are $69.95 and for grades 6-8 are $59.95.  This is puzzling because the program runs from Grade 3-10, and while there are materials for kindergartners, there are none for students in grades 9 and 10. The program “Peaceful School Bus” is $119.00,and a “Complete No Bullying Program Curriculum” for K-8 is $799.00.

Costs of a mandatory two-day training by a certified Olweus trainer (or two) are capped at $4500. Personnel expected to attend are the principal or vice principal, a teacher from each grade level, a school counselor or psychologist, a representative of the school’s nonteaching staff, several parents who are not employed by the school district, a community representative who might have a stake in the program, and other school personnel who might have a particular contribution to make. This likely requires paying for substitutes for the school personnel. Other costs, such as a kick-off event or designating a coordinator for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program could involve even more funds.


Parenting a Bully

Parenting a bully can be tough. Parents should learn what bullying means and the consequences it can have for the bully. There are some important ways that parents can help their children learn to not be a bully. Find tips for parenting a bully here.

Bullying is a repeated pattern of singling out another person for mean behavior. Boys and girls both bully, though boys tend to be more physical and girls more social in their bullying. Bullying can take a number of forms, including:

  • Physically pushing around another person
  • Mocking or putting someone down
  • Maliciously gossiping or spreading rumors
  • Ignoring or excluding someone
  • Using cell phones or the computer to send mean messages to a person

When parents hear that their child is bullying others, it is a normal reaction for them to deny or defend the bullying, especially if the person telling them about the problem is accusatory, angry, or aggressive. Though it’s difficult, parents should try to listen to what others are saying about their child. They can help keep the conversation more calm by asking the person to tell them about the problem without yelling or labeling their child a bully, and by reassuring them that they will talk to the child who has been acting like a bully. Parenting a bully starts with recognizing your child may be bullying other children.

Parents of a child who is bullying others may not know how to approach the problem. Sometimes a school counselor or a mental health professional can help them understand the concepts associated with parenting a bully. Children and teens can bully for a number of reasons, including feeling insecure, having watched another person act like a bully, having been bullied themselves, or feeling that bullying can get them what they want, including social acceptance or dominance over others.

Understanding why children bully can help you in parenting a bully.  Contrary to popular misconceptions, bullies general have friends and a high self-esteem. They are, however, more likely to be impulsive, aggressive, or easily frustrated, and to have trouble with rules and authority figures. They also tend to lack empathy for others. Bullying is not normal behavior or just part of growing up. It is important to get help for a child or teen who is acting like a bully because bullying can have a negative impact, not only on the victim, but also on the bully and the school or community.

Children or teens who bully others are more likely to:

  • Turn to violence as a way to deal with problems, which can lead to fighting
  • Rebel against or be aggressive toward authority figures, including parents
  • Damage property or steal
  • Abuse drugs or alcohol
  • Do poorly in school
  • Get in trouble with the law

Parenting a bully can involve legal responsibilities.  Bullying can also cross the line into illegal behavior, including bullying that takes place on the phone or the computer. Parents can be held responsible for phone or computer bullying, which can include facing legal actions or losing their phone or internet accounts.

Some things that parents can do to teach their children not to bully include:

  • Set a good example by not bullying or intimidating others, and standing up to friends or family members who act like bullies
  • Talk to your child about the fact that bullying is wrong and hurts other people
  • Make clear family rules about what bullying is and that any form of bullying is not acceptable. Explain what the consequences will be if anyone bullies, and make sure that you follow through on the consequences every time the rule is broken. Rules and consequences should not be too lax or too harsh
  • Help children and teens learn to empathize with others by asking them to think about how someone else might feel about being bullied. It also may help to encourage them to do kind things for others, including those they don’t know well.
  • Spend time with your child and ask questions about their friends and their activities. Get to know their friends.
  • Monitor teens’ behavior, including their use of their cell phone and computer. Consider keeping a family computer and not allowing computers in children’s or teens’ rooms.
  • Encourage your child’s positive activities and goals and praise their accomplishments.
  • Watch for and praise any times that they use positive social interactions or non-violent problem solving, such as showing empathy for others or compromising in an argument.
  • Make sure children get any help they need if they are struggling in school or in other areas of their lives, including having problems with aggressive behavior or lack of self-control.
  • Work with school teachers and administrators to discourage bullying at school and reward positive behavior
  • Get counseling for children who have a persistent pattern of bullying to find out if there are any underlying problems causing the bullying.

Though it may be difficult to admit a child or teen has a problem with bullying, getting them help will improve their well-being and chances for success in life. With help, parenting a bully can get easier.


SAMHSA’s National Mental Health Information Center, “Is Your Child a Bully?” [online]

Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, Safe Communities – Safe Schools Fact Sheet, “Bullying Prevention: Recommendations for Parents” [online]

Sherryll Kraizer, Coalition for Children, Inc., Safe Child Program, “Take a Stand: Prevention of Bullying and Interpersonal Violence” [online]

National Crime Prevention Center, “Bullying: What Parents Can Do” [online]

Stop Bullying Now! “Help for Youth Who Bully” [online]

Girl Scouts, LMK: Life Online, “Do You Know the Consequences of Cyberbullying?” [online]

Prevent Bullying

One way to stop bullying is to take steps to prevent bullying from starting. Some ways to prevent bullying is through providing a bully policy, consequences for bullies, and educating potential victims of bullying. Keep reading for more tips on preventing bullying.

Steps to prevent bullying before it starts can address the problem from several directions. Prevention can be aimed at creating a situation in which bullying is not tolerated, in giving potential bullies outlets and behavior suggestions so that thoughts and feelings that could end up in bullying are channeled in different ways, and in helping potential victims avoid becoming the victim of bullying behavior. This article explores some of the current thoughts about how bullying can be prevented.

Prevent Bullying With Policies

A clear definition of bullying and a policy that disallows it and lays out the consequences is one means to arm a school or school district against this problem. For one thing, when bullying is clearly defined, then it can be more easily recognized and separated from constructive criticism, discipline, and motivation, all of which are bordering areas. It is important that the policy be clear and research-based in order to not be so broad that students and teachers are fearful of being perceived as bullies at every turn when what they say is not praise. And it is different, though still potentially painful, if a child is picked last for games because he or she has an objectively poor skill set as opposed to being picked last due to an explicit campaign to ostracize him or her.

Policies to prevent bullying may explicitly mention major types of bullying, including verbal, social, physical, pack and cyberbullying, and racist, religious, homophobic bullying, along with bullying of people with disabilities. But it is important that policies should be worded so as not to exclude the bullying of mainstream victims, nor victims who are teachers, staff, administrators, or school board members, rather than students.

As of September, 2009, most states have bullying laws. Bullying laws do not exist, however, in Alabama, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Prevent Bullying With Consequences

With a carefully written and precise bullying definition in place, there is a need to follow up with appropriate and fair consequences when bullying occurs, whomever the perpetrator and victims are. Victims must know that they will get a fair hearing in order to be persuaded to come forward. Bullies must not be perceived as immune on account of longevity or position. Consequences need to be applied consistently in order for a policy to prevent bullying to be effective.

In states in which there are bullying laws and the bullying involves physical altercations or damage to or theft of property, the consequences of bullying may include criminal prosecution, as well as school sanctions. In addition, bullies, both students and teachers, not to mention schools, school districts, and parents of bullies have been sued for damages.

Prevent Bullying with Family Education

Perception of bullying has changed over time, and while a bullying policy can touch organizations such as schools, it is harder to reach families. People who come from families in which bullying was the norm have been exposed to behavior models that are not considered acceptable today. These people, whether teachers or students, may need explicit models of how to act on thoughts and feelings that could lead to bullying and/or they may need greater assistance to learn new behavior patterns and break old models, such as counseling, rather than simply punishment.

Community education is difficult and takes time: many people feel that what happens behind their closed front door is their business and is private and resent and reject suggestions for change. But if dad bullies mom, or vice versa, and the children take this behavior as a model, what’s behind closed doors can flow out into the community.

Within the home, parents can prevent bullying both by modeling alternative behaviors as well as explicitly pointing out behaviors that fall into the category of bullying and differentiating ways of acting and sharing behaviors that are acceptable within a family – in which people often know more about each other’s characteristics, faults and failings, for example, because of how space is shared rather than because someone has “outed” someone else – from what is acceptable in school and other public settings.

Other Means to Help Prevent Bullying

  • Supervision and appropriate intervention can help stop bullying that is in progress.
  • Teach appropriate assertiveness to those who are, or may be, targets of bullying.
  • If the bullying is linked to something that can be changed – such as an article of clothing or a lack of skill or training in some area – discuss various responses with the person, including changing the behavior, by making a different choice or by working to improve in the area that is lacking if this is an appropriate response, or learning to assert his or her right to be different, if this is appropriate. For example, if a student is ridiculed because his or her desk or locker is a mess with things falling out of it, some assistance in creating and maintaining order could both be beneficial and remove the reason for the bullying. If, however, the student wants to continue to wear a Yankee baseball cap in Red Sox territory, a different approach will be needed to prevent bullying.
  • Staff training can help make sure that the school (and state, if applicable) bullying policies are widely understood.
  • Some bullying occurs at the rate of “almost every day” according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) 2007 data. Head off repeat offense by encouraging reports of bullying and making sure reports are dealt with expeditiously. A victim who has accepted another student’s derision as “jokes” up to a point, should be able to report the derision without feeling complicit or guilty for the bullying being ongoing.