How to talk about bullying with your child

Joel Haber, PhD Psychologist & Bullying Expert, shares advice for parents on the best methods for talking to your child about bullying
How to Talk to Your Child About Bullying
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How to talk about bullying with your child

Talking to a child about bullying is actually a really important skill for a parent and there’s lots of conversations you can have, but here’s the thing most parents do, they’ll say things like, “So, honey, how was school today?” And if you say that, you’re going to get a one-word answer. That’s not the right conversation. We want to really help you develop the right conversation. The right conversation is you’re asking specific questions that you can then gather information from. Here is what they are – say to your child periodically, “So who did you sit with at lunch today?” “Who did you play with at recess?” “Who did you ride with on the bus?” To see if there is any changes in that – if you ask these questions consistently, you get a sense of who your children are spending time with. And then say, “Did you ever notice that there are kids in school, either recess, lunch, or even in the classroom, who get picked on? Or teased? Or even left out?” And if they answer yes or no, say, “Does that ever happen to you?” By setting the stage for you to ask those questions of them you make it safe for them to talk naturally like it’s a part of conversation that we should be talking about as a family. And you let them know that you can come to them or they can come to you if there’s any problem. That’s how you begin the conversation, so if your kid is in the situation like that, they will feel safe, because you’ve already set the stage to come talk.

Joel Haber, PhD Psychologist & Bullying Expert, shares advice for parents on the best methods for talking to your child about bullying


Expert Bio

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Joel Haber, PhD

Psychologist, Bullying & Parenting Expert, Author

Dr. Joel Haber is a Clinical Psychologist and internationally recognized bully prevention and parenting expert. He was selected as a webinar leader and a speaker for the Obama Administration Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention initiative.  He was also an invited participant to the Second Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit in 2011. His recent book, Bullyproof Your Child for Life: Protect Your Child from Teasing, Taunting and Bullying for Good set the bullying standard for schools, camps, sports, organizations and families dealing with bully prevention and intervention. He recently published The Resilience Formula: A Guide to Proactive, Not Reactive Parenting.  He is a consultant and expert to the American Camp Association, and to LG Electronics as a member of (, providing cyberbullying and mobile harassment expertise to parents and families. He is an advisor to Cartoon Network’s anti-bully campaign: Stop Bullying: Speak Up.  He is an expert for No Snap Judgments: The Addams Family Broadway Show- National Campaign to promote acceptance and tolerance amongst our youth. He is also co-founder of Tool Kits for Kids (, recipient of five national parenting awards for helping parents and kids develop the tools and emotional life skills to overcome worry, build confidence and develop resilience. He has written and published extensively, speaking each year to thousands of parents and educators to help make children’s lives, safer and better. 

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