Skip to content

How to Help Your Kids Deal with Bullying

By |August 14, 2023

Is your child getting bullied at school? If you encourage  the use of  Tactical Empathy®, it can help them navigate this challenging situation. 

When you lead by example, your son or daughter will be more likely to mimic your behavior when they leave the house, helping them improve all of their relationships—not just the ones they have with bullies.

In addition to doing everything they can to make counterparts feel understood, there are other tactics your child can use to thwart attacks from bullies. Keep reading to learn more about some effective approaches to bullying.

(Note: If your child is being bullied due to their race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation—or is being threatened with violence—these tactics may not be the best course of action. Instead, inform a trusted authority figure at the school to find an effective solution.)

It Starts with Being Curious

When your child is having trouble with bullying, help them bring the right mindset to school. By staying curious and trying to understand why a bully is acting the way they are, your son or daughter can identify the driving forces behind the bully’s behavior.

Based on what your child is telling you about the bullying behavior, you can help them come up with some go-to Labels™ to use when the situation warrants: It seems like you have a reason for picking on me?  This should not be done in front of a crowd of people. If at all possible, have your child approach the bully quietly. Without an audience to ‘perform’ in front of, the bully is less likely to lash out.

If you use a Mirror™, the bully might read the comment as sarcastic if the tone of voice isn’t just right. By using Labels instead, your child will have an easier time uncovering the drive behind the bully’s behavior: It seems like there’s something bothering you. 

New call-to-action

Use the Proper Tone

When dealing with a bully, it’s important to use the proper tone. Help your child practice how they speak so you can be sure there is no sarcasm or condemnation coming across.

Rather than lashing out at the bully, your child should enter the conversation gently and not raise their voice. Most kids don’t like it when their parents yell, instead preferring to be spoken to in a kind tone. Tell your kid to bring that same tone to conversations with bullies. 

Additionally, when confronting a bully, it’s important that your son or daughter remains calm. Challenging the bully will only feed into their desire for attention, so staying calm will work to your child’s advantage.

It’s time to get unstuck! Here are five tactics for negotiating with difficult  people. Download here  >>

What’s Motivating the Attack?

If your child uses Tactical Empathy, the bully will feel understood, and your kid can figure out what motivates their bad behavior. In some cases, bullies act the way they do because they feel unheard or misunderstood. Many bullies don’t get attention at home, so they don’t understand the difference between positive and negative attention at school. The only way they know how to get any attention is to lash out.

In these cases, if your child takes the time to understand the bully, the bullying behavior may disappear, paving the way to a more amicable relationship. 

When you explain this to your son or daughter, they’ll understand. Encourage them to make it a challenge to figure out what is motivating the attack. Is it because the bully is trying to look cool in front of other kids? Is it because no one is listening to them? Is it because they’re disadvantaged? Using Tactical Empathy to demonstrate an understanding of whatever the dynamic is will lower the emotions of the bully.

Other times, it might be the case that a bully is simply being bigoted or cruel without a deeper motivation. Tactical Empathy can still be used to stave off the attack but if your son or daughter finds themselves dealing with this type of bullying, it is always recommended to tell a trusted authority figure rather than navigate this situation alone.

At the end of the day, kids like to solve problems. By encouraging your child to figure out why a bully is acting how they are, teaching them methods to navigate tough conversations with bullies, and explaining that it is OK to seek the help of a trusted authority figure if needed, you can help your child handle this difficult situation and come out the other side stronger.

Ready to learn more about how to negotiate with difficult people? Check out our free e-book, 5 Negotiation Tactics for Dealing with Difficult People.

Blog Footer: 5 Negotiation Tactics for Dealing with Difficult People