You are here

Back to School: Recognizing and Preventing Bullying

July 31, 2018
backpack in front of school

The Fight Against Bullying

Bullying has been a problem in schools for as far back as we can remember, but it seems like we hear more about it now than ever. Kids have more ways to bully other kids outside of school through social media, texting, and cell phones. As caring adults and parents, there are ways we can help our kids understand what bullying is, how to recognize it, and how to address and stop it from happening when they see it.

The U.S. Department of Education, Department of Health & Human Services, and Department of Justice have teamed up on a project called to share information about bullying and how we can prevent it.’s 4 recommendations to prevent bullying are:

  • Help kids understand bullying
  • Keep lines of communication open by checking in with them often
  • Encourage kids to do what they love
  • Show them how to treat others with respect

Let’s take a deeper look at how we can address each one of these.

Help Kids Understand Bullying

If kids know what bullying is then they’ll be able to identify it when it happens. We can also teach them ways to stand up to bullying in ways that won’t put them in further danger.

If your child is being bullied, or sees it happening to someone else, encourage them to talk to someone they trust. Recommend ways they can stand up to the bully and what to do if it doesn’t stop immediately, like walk away.

Encourage them to help other kids who are being bullied by getting them help or being a kind friend. Bullying often isolates kids making them feel unloved, unwanted, or different. Knowing someone else is there to help can stop bullying before it goes too far.

Keep Lines of Communication Open by Checking in With Them Often

Research shows that children look to their parents for advice on how to handle tough situations. Spending 15 minutes a day talking to your kids can show that you care and open up the conversation if they need to come to you with a problem.

Ask specific questions about their day, like:

  • Who do you sit with at lunch and what do you talk about?
  • What is it like to ride the bus to school?
  • Who are your friends?

It’s important to address bullying so you can better understand how it might be affecting your kids. Asking questions about bullying will show that you care and inform your kids on the dangers of bullying. Start with questions like:

  • What does bullying mean to you?
  • Why do you think people bully?
  • Have you ever felt scared to go to school because you were afraid of bullying?
  • Do you know what can happen to someone who is being bullied? Or to the one doing the bullying?

There are no perfect answers to these questions, just the assurance that you’re there if they ever need you. Keeping up with what's going on in school is another way to stay involved in their life. You can stay connected by:

  • Reading classroom newsletters
  • Checking the school website frequently
  • Attending parent-teacher conferences
  • Sharing your contact information with other kids’ parents

Encourage Kids to Do What They Love

Letting kids do things they enjoy gives them the chance to make friends with others who have similar interests and builds confidence in activities they love. Kids can join a sports league, volunteer, sing in a chorus, or join a youth group.

Show Kids How to Treat Others With Respect

We’ve heard it before: Actions speak louder than words.  Our kids learn from how we act towards and treat others. By showing kindness and treating others with respect, they'll learn how to treat others the same way. Even when we think they're not paying attention, they still see what we do. has a lot of resources for parents, teachers, and caregivers. Use them to teach your kids about the effects of bullying and encourage them to talk to you if they or a friend become the victim of bullying.

Chelsea Stephens

About the Author

Chelsea Stephens is the Marketing & Training Lead for Digital Services Georgia. A Georgia native herself, Chelsea enjoys writing on topics that citizens and visitors of Georgia can enjoy and learn from. 

You might like...

July 25, 2018

With school starting back soon, it’s important we teach our children ways to stay safe in different situations. The first in this blog series not only teaches kids how to stay safe when riding the bus, but it also gives information to motorists on how to properly share the road with students, buses, and pedestrians.

June 25, 2018

The legislative session is over and done, and all that’s left to do is obey the new laws, most of which take effect July 1.

While many of this year’s new laws will have little or minor impact on Georgians’ day-to-day lives, there is one big act that could have a drastic effect on highway safety.

April 5, 2018

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Learn how to prevent, detect, and report child abuse.