Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

October 30, 2014

October is Bullying Awareness Month: Ways to Talk about Bullying

“Be on the lookout for bullying, and if you see something, say something, do something.”

–U.S. Department of Homeland Security

As the parent, it can be difficult to determine how to appropriately talk with your child about bullying. It may even seem like your child is not exposed to any bullying, so why even talk about it? Remember though, bullying does not just impact two people; bullying involves the bystanders, as well.

Based on a national survey conducted in 2011, 20% of high school students reported being bullied at school. It is important to keep the communication lines open to help your child determine what to do in a situation at school.

Here are a few conversation starters to help you determine if your child is exposed to bullying. Make sure to pay attention to facial expressions during these conversations. Sometimes children find it easier to say what they think you want to hear so they do not have to elaborate on it. 

  •          What was one good thing that happened today? Any bad things?
  •          What was the lunch line like at school?
  •          Who did you sit with at lunch today? What did you talk about?
  •          How was the school bus ride?
  •          At school, what do you feel is going well right now?

If these conversation starters lead you to feel like your child is involved in bullying to any capacity, here are a few more questions to help guide your conversation.

  •          Describe what kids who bully are like.
  •          Why do you think people bully?
  •          What adults at school do you trust to talk to about bullying?
  •          Have you or your friends left other kids out on purpose? Have you ever felt left out?
  •          What do you usually do when you see bullying going on?

Learn more about bullying at:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention –

Surgeon General’s Report on Youth Violence –


Although the blog series on bullying prevention is ending, the conversation does not have to. 

The psychologists and educators at Child and Family Development can help children who have been the victim or are the perpetrator of bullying.  Contact us at 704-541-9080 (Pineville) or 704-332-4834 (Midtown) if you would like to schedule a session to talk with one of our highly skilled psychologists and educators.