Bullying. Do You Teach Your Kids?

Updated on October 10, 2013
S.R. asks from Kansas City, MO
11 answers

There is so much of this going on unreported in our schools! Kids get bullied for months and months w/o telling a parent, a teacher, a counselor or a friend for fear of getting made fun of more, getting bullied more, scrutinized or fear of looking like the cry baby tattletale.
And then the horrible happens.... they lash out! I think it needs to start with parents. We need to teach our kids at a young age that is it NOT OK to bully others and it is OK to stand up for yourself if you are getting bullied! I have always taught my oldest to stand up for herself if she gets bullied, and i know it doesnt always work. I think at one point in your life, you get bullied. I am 39 years old and i was bullied when in 8th grade.
I know most schools promote anit-bullying..... but is that enough??
When my youngest who is 4 years old starts K, i am going to start teaching him that IT IS NOT OK to bully others and to stick up for himself if he gets bullied and its ok to tell a teacher if a student is bullying him. Thoughts?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

OMG... no i am not talking about getting picked on by kids on occasion, i am talking about full fledged bullying. Seriously, some of you question what bullying is. I mean one or more kids who torment and taunt and single out one helpless defenseless kid day after day, month after month! First they probably start out doing it alone then after a few weeks pass by they encourage their friends to join in on making fun of these poor quiet reserved kids who yes, may look a little bit different, may walk a little bit different or just in general whose personality my be a be different. That is what i am talking about. If a child was made fun of one day by another student, NO THAT IS NOT BULLYING and if my DD came home and told me that some girl made fun of her and that was the only isolated incident, i would tell her to suck it up! As a parent i am encouraging you to start teaching your kids early enough to where they can comprehend and understand what bullying is. And no i will not wait until the teachers teach my child not to bully, sheesh.... it is VERY OBVIOUS they are not doing their jobs! I have talked to my son (4) about bullying and he doesnt seem to get the concept yet that is why i stated that as soon as he gets ready for school i will start teaching him, but maybe he will understand a little bit better in the next year.

Featured Answers



answers from New York on

It seems every little antic a child does, he is considered a bully. This whole bullying thing has gotten way out of hand. Kids need to learn to fight their own battles. Teasing, name calling happens. This is not bullying. I think everyone's idea of bullying is different. I always taught my kids to be kind to others and treat them with respect. They did, but kids get into scuffles. It is part of life. They worked things out themselves. They are great problem solvers as adults. Those were the good old days. Kids just played outside, no zero tolerance type rules, no anti bullying, mothers let kids solve their own problems.

5 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Washington DC on


There is soo much more to this than just "what do you teach your kids?"
What do you consider bullying? Seriously. There are parents who think bullying is if their child doesn't get invited to another students birthday party - "oooh my child got singled out..." and that's bullying in their mind....some kid telling another kid that they are ugly is considered bullying to some people...the whole thing has gotten out of hand!!

Bullying in MY book is the repeated attempts (like daily, weekly, monthly) to demean, berate and otherwise humiliate someone.

Why are you waiting to teach your child when he/she gets INTO Kindergarten about "bullying"? Really? Why not equip your child NOW - TEACH him/her HOW to handle themselves. Teach them the difference between right and wrong NOW...that's YOUR job. Not a teacher's job. Show your child their self-worth. Show them the difference between right and wrong. It's amazing what happens when you role model for your children....

Are you actively involved in your kids life?
Do you teach your child how to react? Or do you expect the teacher to do it for you?

Do you teach and model how to behave? If so - your child should be equipped to handle the words thrown at him or her. My kids have been taught AND SHOWN the "golden rule" - do unto others as you would have done unto you...they understand it and best of all - LIVE IT.

Are they perfect? Nope. I would NEVER claim that my child is perfect. I don't have rose colored glasses on. I love my children unconditionally - but I know they aren't perfect.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Not trying to belittle your question but could you define bullying for me? Not the Webster's definition, define it. Like you see this, this is bullying. Checklist. To me that is the problem in a nutshell. It can't be easily defined and children go about defining it by, someone else said the behavior is wrong. But if all the kids are looking to others then no one is coming forward and saying this is bullying. But how can someone come forward when we as adults can't even define it?

Personally I skip the term completely and sent my kids out into the world with, if you wouldn't like to be treated the way you are seeing someone else treated, say something. Seemed to work like a charm.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I think there is too much anti-bullying focus, to be honest. Now, if a child sticks his tongue out on the playground at another kid, there's a call that he's bullying. If a child calls a name, he's labeled a bully. And my daughter is convinced she's going to be bullied in middle school because she's been told how prevalent it is. Every misstep and misdeed is considered bullying and responsible adults have lost sight of what honest to goodness bullying is. It's a prolonged and repeated effort to control another person through emotional, social, or physical force. It is not teasing, it is not one or two times, it isn't even being mean.

And before you wonder, my kids have never been accused of bullying, so I'm not taking it personally that this is what's happening. In fact, my daughter has been the target of a real bully for a few years now. And her bully? The mom is a huge anti-bullying advocate and her daughter is one of the worst bullies I've seen. The person below who said they get sneakier is right, but they also don't understand what bullying is. I've seen too many good young kids labeled for doing what normal kids do, while the real bullying (usually the emotional and social kind, mean girl, under the radar stuff) gets ignored because it isn't hitting.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Salinas on

You don't teach kids not to bully you teach and model empathy throughout their lives. Don't wait until he starts school.

We teach our girls to think for themselves, stand up for what they know is right, teach people how to treat them, pick their friends carefully, never be afraid to get involved or walk away depending on the situation and most importantly consider what it's like to walk in another person's shoes. So far so good.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Tucson on

As a high school teacher I have a few viewpoints on this. First and foremost I know it goes on at higher levels and step in when I can. We have firm anti-bullying procedures in place at my school. However, and this is not an excuse it is just the reality of it, I have so many other things to do during a class period. I have to post attendance, deal with students who were absent yesterday, write nurses passes, open my lesson and establish purpose, monitor progress and reteach students who are falling behind, teach, etc. With growing class sizes (mine are at 40) it is very difficult to connect with students and be the advocate for kids I need to be. I try really hard but some days I wonder if I do enough. Second, our adult culture has become completely accepting of bullying and even venerates it in politics, reality television, etc. If kids are constantly watching adults be bullies...it is difficult to redirect. We need a cultural change in addition to more support at the school level for harried teachers who are struggling to prep for tests.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My daughter was bullied in first grade on the playground. The kid would tease her until she lashed out, and then SHE would get in trouble for lashing out. Sometime the other child would get in trouble as well, but no matter what, if my daughter did or said anything back they BOTH would end up in the principal's office.This taught my daughter that it's best to HIDE it because she'd get in trouble too.

Then, (I think as a way to get her frustration out) she started picking on other kids. It was a terrible downward spiral. My daughter went from victim to bully! And this was NOT the kind of child we wanted to raise.

We talked to the school--who did NOTHING!! They just labeled her a troublemaker.

We taught her how to handle the original bully by walking away and ignoring. We did a lot of playacting with dolls and then with us and her. Once she learned how to peacefully walk away, the kid stopped bullying her. When he stopped bullying her, she stopped bullying other kids.

It was never right of my daughter to bully other kids, but I understand her frustration at being bullied herself. She just saw the "successful" behavior of a bully, and emulated it AND got away with it.

I don't think the schools need to teach anti-bullying as much as they need to teach kids how to HANDLE bullies. It's much easier to teach the victims NOT to be victims because bullies will be bullies no matter what.

AND, it's quite possible the bullies are that way because they are victims themselves somewhere (like at home).

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Bullying or not, since Toddlerhood, I have taught my kids to KNOW THEMSELVES. Know who they are.
Know their own cues.
How to speak up.
Know right from wrong.
And that, just because others are doing something or acting a certain way, that does not mean they have to, too. Think on your own.
I also taught them that, the "popular" kids are not necessarily the "nice" kids.
My kids, know the difference.
I have taught them to "discern" social situations and character.
They are good at it for their ages, of 7 and 10.

A kid, needs to know themselves. And who they are. This is very important, in the general realm of interactions with others.

Then per "bullying" yes, we teach them all about that.
They understand.
And in school as well, their school (public) annually, has "workshops" for the kids, which teaches them about bullying, what it is, how to deal with it and who to tell. And they also send home a booklet to the parents, about it.

Then per "tattling".... I teach my kids that just because you tell a Teacher something about another kid, that does not mean it is "tattling." It is my opinion, that the whole stigma of "tattling" is not good. Because, many kids will think that anytime they say something about another kid or situation, that that is "tattling." But it is not. They do not know the difference between "tattling" versus telling an adult/teacher/parent, about what wrong another kid is doing, which may be harmful or which is harming them or what is bothering them emotionally. So I teach my kids, to tell... the Teacher, about anything that is wrong. Because that is not "tattling." Nor being a "crybaby."
And some Teachers/adults will label anything a kid says at "tattling" because, they don't want to hear the problems that the kids are having. And they think that kids should deal with it themselves. BUT... that is where, it is not helpful. Because, kids do not inherently know, how to navigate or handle or manage.... all situations nor do they know the protocols for "problems."

I work at my kids' school. When a kid tells me about something that happened, the other kids may say "she's TATTLING!" And I say "No. She is not. She is, telling me about something that happened, that is against her. That you did. I am GLAD, she told me. She is INFORMING me... of something wrong, that happened. THAT is not, tattling. AND by telling me about what happened, I can then, help her or help you all solve the problem.... and then I can evaluate it."
My thing is: I do not want kids, to hold back, from telling things to an adult/parent/teacher... just because they are more "afraid" of being labeled a "tattler" or a "crybaby." To me, it is MORE important, that a child knows... that they can tell me anything, and that, they need help or advice. The whole thing about "tattling" to me, is wrongly taught.
Because kids do get afraid, of being a "tattler."
It is a stigma. Which makes a child, keep things all bottled up inside. And then, as a teacher or parent, they will never tell you anything.
And that is the dynamic, of "bullying" too.

Teaching kids about "bullying" and social situations... requires parental guidance. AND schools' guidance. It takes, many and all, sources of information and help, for a child.

When my daughter was in 1st Grade, she was bullied. My daughter told me. I told the Teacher. She was GLAD I told her and she talked to my daughter as well. The Teacher was GLAD we told her....because, the kid that was doing it, was a constant source of trouble and to other kids. And the school NEEDED, parents to "report" it, because THEN, the school could DOCUMENT it and then, deal with that kid AND the parents. The Teacher told me, that that kid had a HISTORY of "bullying" but that no other parent told her, until I did. And then once I told her, it was taken care of that SAME day. Swiftly.

I teach my kids, to tell me or their Teacher, of any, inappropriate, things. Against them. Or that they may see against another child. And that it is NOT "tattling." And they know the difference between everyday child mingling and interactions, versus MEANNESS against other kids.

I work at my kids' school. A boy was causing trouble to the table, as he always does everyday. And I told him, "Why do you do that?" And he said "I don't know." And I said "Do you know the difference between right and wrong?" And he said "yeah." Then I said "Do you know the difference between nice and mean?" And he said "yeah." Then I told him "Then WHY... do you choose, everyday, to be MEAN to other kids, and choose the wrong thing to do, when you know it is mean and wrong????" And then I paused and looked at him, waiting for him to answer me. And he couldn't answer me. I told him "Everyday, YOU choose how to act. YOU choose to be mean. So, everyday you have consequences, and scoldings, and that is YOUR CHOICE. YOU choose to be mean and wrong to others and get scolded. WHEN are you going to choose, to be nice and a good classmate and do the right, thing?" And then I paused and looked at him. He couldn't answer me. I looked at the others, and I told them "Thank you for telling me what he did to you. It is not tattling. It is informing me of what I need to know, in order to help you... and solve this problem. Let me know of any other issues today."
The next day, that boy had a good day. He did NOT cause trouble to others as he usually does. And his Teacher said he seemed changed. The other kids were not being hassled by him. When I saw him the next day, I complimented him, and told him "good job."

Kids need to tell others/the parent/the teacher of any wrongness that is happening and of any "bullying." It is not necessarily "tattling."
I teach my kids that.
And that, by speaking up and in front of others, it is showing others that, things do not have to occur in isolation. And it is not something to be self-conscious about.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

My kids school has been very proactive in it's anti-bulling policies and education. We have programs such as Roots of Empathy, and practices such as Restitution to combat bullying, and from what I can see these programs have been highly effective for preventing and dealing with bullying.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I teach my kids to treat others they way they want to be treated. We have not had any problems. My neighbors daughter has been picked on and tripped.
I was bullied horrible in grade school. The girls were so unkind. I would go home and cry. Then I would say a pray for them. How sad their life was to pick on me...I was a quiet non threatening child.



answers from Chicago on

I am a mother of a 15, 16, and 21 year old. One thing that I cannot stand is kids bullying other kids. Especially when it is my child getting bullied. My 15 year old is in her sophomore year of high school. She was recently changed out of her classes and put in other classes and ever since then she has been getting bullied. It not only happens in elementary schools but in high schools as well. I was furious and I went to her high school to get it taken care of. If the kid that's bullying her is not happy about something then there is no reason for this kid to make other people miserable just because he or she is. These schools need to do something about the bullying. It starts with the parents teaching their kids about what's right and what's wrong. I was bullied back in school and back then teachers really didn't care too much about it. I got to a point where I couldn't take it anymore and I stood up for myself and that kid did not bully me anymore after that. I went thru this bullying stuff with both of my sons and now I have to deal with my daughter being bullied. When will it ever end? Something needs to be done about it.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions