Whether your child approaches you–or you're raising a concern based on your suspicion–approach the discussion with respect. Start with choosing an appropriate time and space to have the conversation.
Take your child seriously and keep your focus on what they share with you. Your feelings are contagious, so do your best to remain calm, even if that means you have to pause before responding.
Your role is to de-escalate the situation and, if possible, help to restore positive relationships.
When your child is speaking, listen with patience and without judgment. Avoid jumping to conclusions or putting words in their mouth. Keep your tone steady and calm. Avoid blaming your child or saying harsh things.
Being judgmental or critical about the actions that preceded the bullying may cause your child to shut down. While you should avoid making promises you can’t keep, reassure your child that you want to help find a successful solution.
You may also find it helpful to open up if you've ever been bullied. Relating to your child's situation can encourage them to share what happened and how they feel about it.
If your child is really upset, shows signs of self-harm or suicide--or threatens to harm someone else--get help immediately. Don’t leave your child alone if they seem suicidal. Contact a professional such as your child's school counselor or doctor, or a helpline.
Once you have a clear understanding of what's going on, ask your child what they want to do and how you can help. Rather than telling them what to do, suggest solutions and encourage them to come up with ways to move forward. Your child needs to believe in and feel like a part of the plan for it to work.
If the person who bullied your child goes to their school, you may reach out to the counselor or the principal to inform them. If they are using an online platform to target your child, report the offending content to the provider.
If the situation is serious or your child has been threatened, take immediate action. Your child’s safety is the priority.
If the bullying is happening on social media, use our safety tools to limit unwanted interactions. Learn more about the tools available across our technologies and how to use them.
We do not tolerate bullying at Meta. You can report harmful content at any time. We have teams reviewing reports of bullying and harassment 24/7.