Resources for Dealing with Bullying

pediatricians east portland

Through childhood and adolescence, experiences shape perspective, resilience and character. When children encounter bullying, it can affect their emotional well-being, academic performance and self-esteem. 

Here are some resources and strategies for dealing with bullying.


Understanding Bullying

Bullying isn’t just one-off mean behavior or someone having a bad day. It always includes:

  • Imbalance of power. Some examples might be physical size, access to embarrassing information, inclusion in a group, popularity or age.
  • Repetition. Bullying is behavior that happens more than once.

Bullying can come in various forms, including physical, verbal and social. Each leaves an impact on a child’s mental health. 

Recognizing the signs of being bullied is the first step toward intervention. That might include changes in behavior, unexplained injuries, lost personal items, frequent illness or a reluctance to go to school, participate in activities and/or ride the bus. 


Creating a Supportive Environment at Home

A supportive home environment becomes even more important for kids bullied outside of the home. Encourage open discussions about day-to-day experiences without judgment, showing empathy and understanding. Knowing their lives and friends will help you notice any issues as they pop up. 


Strategies for Empowerment

Empowering children with strategies to address bullying can help them regain confidence and resilience. 

You might teach them to assert themselves calmly and confidently, stay with friends for support and practice how to ask for help from adults. Role-playing can be an effective way to prepare them for real-life situations.

Talk about bullying: what it is, what it looks like, how to stay safe and how to stand up for others. For younger kids, read books about different types of behavior and practice saying “no” and “stop” confidently.

Helping kids find activities they enjoy helps boost their self-esteem. For more tips, check out these resources: 


Engaging with Schools

Schools have policies and intervention strategies to handle bullying incidents. If you have concerns about bullying at school, meet with teachers and school counselors to explore possible solutions together. This partnership helps create a consistent approach to bullying prevention and response. For ongoing issues, you might need to bring in a principal or other administrator.

Unsurprisingly, most bullying happens in middle school. According to, in 2019, about 28% of 6th-, 7th- and 8th- graders reported being bullied at school. As kids become more independent, they’re less supervised — and cyberbullying enters the scene as more kids have phones and access to social media. Keep the lines of communication open, and set firm ground rules for phone usage before the device hits their hands.


Professional Help

Sometimes, the impact of bullying may require professional intervention. Pediatricians, child psychologists or counselors can offer your child individualized support and coping strategies. Don’t hesitate to seek professional advice if you notice persistent changes in your child’s behavior or emotional well-being. Your pediatrician at East Portland Pediatric Clinic can serve as a resource to you and as a first step for finding mental health treatment. 


If Your Child Is the Bully

If you learn that your child is engaging in bullying behavior, take it seriously. Check in with your child’s teacher to discuss the behaviors they see at school and what interventions are taking place.

Difficult emotions like sadness, loneliness or insecurity are often expressed through anger. Taking extra time to connect might help you understand what’s going on inside. Model calm and empathic behaviors with your child as you work through how to repair the harm.


Talk to Your East Portland Pediatricians

East Portland Pediatric Clinic, pediatricians in East Portland, believes in nurturing a community where every child feels safe, respected and valued. Dealing with bullying is a challenging journey, but with the right resources and support, children can overcome these obstacles, emerging stronger and more resilient. 

Our team is here to support your family’s physical, emotional and mental health.