Parents should not take bullying lightly, but at the same time, overreacting is also not a good idea. If your child is a victim of bullying, you should assess the seriousness of the situation and react accordingly.
If your child comes to you and says they are the victim of bullying, or you think that they may be, talk with them to see what is going on. Children are often reluctant to talk about being the victim of bullying so it is important to reassure them that talking about it will only help and that you care about their well-being. Children are often afraid that the bully will find out that they told on them and bully them even more severely. While this is a legitimate fear, taking the proper action will not result in this.
You should find out what your child has tried to do to stop the bullying and give them other ways to stop it. Often if the victim of bullying reacts in the right way, the bully will stop. If your child is being bullied but the situation is not putting them at any risk of physical, emotional, or self esteem damage, the best thing to do is to give your child advice on how to stop bullying themselves and let them handle it. Sometimes ignoring a bully, using humor, or just remaining calm will stop bullying. When children react confidently and assert themselves to a bully, the bully will often stop without adult intervention.
If your child is a victim of bullying and it is severe enough to cause physical, emotional or self-esteem damage, then you and your child should contact the school and inform your child’s teacher and principal what is going on. Schools have no tolerance for bullying and if they are aware of what is going on, they will work with parents and students to create a solution. Confronting the parent of your child’s bully may or may not be a good idea so it is best to talk with the school first. Sometimes a bully’s parents will be unaware of what is going on and will be willing to help. Other times a bully’s parents will deny that there is a problem or not want to help. In any case, the bully needs to be stopped and some sort of positive action should be taken.