School Bullies



I need a bit of advice. How do you handle school bullies? How do you teach your child to defend himself from them? D is a very gentle little guy and doesn't have an aggressive streak in him at all. He's never hurt/hit another child.But today I witnessed him being bullied by his own classmates. I was thinking of doing a bit of role-playing with him to help him deal with this type of situation. He's moving to a new school in Jan (THANK GOODNESS!) Any advice appreciated.


PS: D is 3 1/2
Gosh know exactly what you're going through, as mine went through that a few months back. It's a tricky line to walk between teaching our kids that they have rights (ie other kids should not just grab my stuff while I'm playing with it) vs. what the books tell us about teaching kids to share and stuff. In our instance, I had to talk with the teacher and just ask them to keep their eyes on the bully (they caught him pulling other kids hair, konking my son with his toys, etc., teachers have also talked with the bully's parents, who seem not to care). As you know, we did change schools, and I've voiced the same concern with his current teachers, because they've noticed that my son doesn't fight for his stuff, and other more aggressive kids will just grab his toys, so I've asked the teachers to please keep their eyes peeled and to also encourage my son to assert his rights. I know I can't protect him forever, and bullies will always be a part of life, but I figured any life's lesson can wait until he's a little bigger. Good Luck.
Last edited:
Thanks HKForNow!

The other kids in the class have been playing together since they were bubs, and have developed their own self defense tactics to deal with the bullies. They bite, scratch and kick. None of the kids that D plays with regularly act this way. I don't want to teach him either. I've heard his teacher tell kids that they have to "use their words" only! Am soo confused! Not sure how to toughen him up! Thoughts of Karate and Takewando are racing through my head.

Last edited:
Hi Rani,
Your first port of call should be the school. As you are changing schools in January, find out what their approach to bullying is and ask to see their policy. All schools have bullies, so don't believe any teacher or head teacher who says that they don't. The difference with a good school is that they have a firm policy on how to deal with bullies and everyone sticks to the policy. If you find that bullying happens in the new school, first approach the class teacher and if you get no joy move up the chain to the Head teacher and so on. As a primary school teacher, I have been able to intervene very successfully in bullying incidents if I have been told what's going on. Unfortunately the very nature of bullying can mean that it's hard to spot. So one of the skills I would recommend you teach your son is to tell an adult that they have been hurt by someone. Another skill to learn is to very clearly say to the bully 'No stop that I don't like it.' This is where it gets tricky. As a child I was taught in no uncertain terms by my parents if someone hits you hit them back only harder. Obviously as a teacher I can't advocate that approach, as where does the violence stop? With my own children I intend to teach them verbal strategies to deal with the bullying as I don't want my child to be labelled as a bully either.

As to your idea about martial arts, I know they do wonders for self confidence, which is often enough to put bullies off (it's often the quiter kids that get the worst of the bullying). However, one of the things your son will be taught is the discipline of the martial art, which will often involve not using what he has learnt outside of his lessons. I know a friend of mine did karate as a teenager and despite being attacked by some school bulllies, knew that she couldn't retaliate as she would have been in severe trouble.

I hope that helps

Hi Jools,

Thanks for the advice! Much appreciated.

I had a talk with his teacher today and she assured me that D wasn't being bullied in school. There are only 6 kids in his class so she does keep a close eye on them. The only disadvantage of a small class is if u've got 2 or 3 naughty ones it affects the entire dynamics and the other kids suffer. I am so glad he's only got one more week left!

Thanks so much for the tips on handling the new school. Will definitely speak to his class teacher next month.

We've already started doing a bit of role-playing at home, and he now knows how to deal with the situation better.

Thanks again jools and HKfornow.

Last edited: