28% of U.S. students in grades 6-12 experience bullying. Listening to your child is an important step in addressing and preventing bullying.

Listen with empathy and give your child your undivided attention. Offer reassurance, acknowledge the situation and assure them you are taking them seriously. Ask your child how they see you helping the situation. This gives them some control over something they feel they have no control over.

Try saying something like this:

“I cannot imagine how difficult it is to worry about what they might say or do next. I have an idea about how I will take action, but I’d like to hear from you about what you would like for me to do”.

By taking this approach you are modeling how to stand up for yourself in a proactive and confident way. Dealing with a bully is a delicate and difficult situation for your daughter or son. Simply listening to them is a great way to begin to empower them to address the problem.