Ask: What can I do about bullying?

Orenstein Solutions is a group psychology and psychiatry practice that has served Triangle families since 2005.
Orenstein Solutions is a group psychology and psychiatry practice that has served Triangle families since 2005.

Whether you’re a parent or kid, bullying is an ugly and difficult reality that will affect you or those you care about. These tips will help you deal with a bully and help others in bullying situations.  


As a coach I see the reality of bullying at school.  One example in particular stands out in my mind of an older high school student bullying a younger student. After this situation came to light, I had a parent approach me with questions about how to help her son address bullies at school.  


Q:  What’s the most important thing I need to tell my son about what to do if he is bullied?


  • SAFETY FIRST – Your safety is the main priority, try to remove yourself from a situation where a bully may be confronting you or protect yourself if you are unable to get away.


Q:  My son asked my why kids bully each other.  How do I explain this to him?


  • UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM – Bullying is about control.  Removing yourself, assertively stating that you aren’t interested in what they have to say or ignoring them shows that they don’t have control over you and your emotions.


Q:  What should my son do if he’s bullied?


  • TELL AN ADULT – Without correction or intervention, bullies can become more aggressive over time. If you are being bullied, reporting it to a trusted adult will help put a stop to the harassment and also raise awareness about the situation, making it less likely to continue in the future.


Q:   What’s the best way my son can try to avoid bullies?


  • SURROUND YOURSELF WITH OTHERS – Find a group of people who enjoy the same things you do and make friends. Join a new club or sports team. Not only will this boost your confidence, but it also will give you support from others.


Q:  What can my son do to help combat bullying at his school?


  • SUPPORT OTHERS – Bullying is defeated through a community that is not willing to tolerate aggressive behavior. If you stand up for someone getting picked on or bullied, you show the bully it’s not okay, and you might make a new friend in the process.


Working in a school, I’ve seen the power of bullying and the power of a group of kids supporting each other. When kids come together and take a stand against bullying, everyone wins, and even the bullies learn a lesson.


If you have a question about your child's health or happiness, ask Orenstein Solutions or any of our experts by sending email to


Austin Bridges is the lacrosse coach at East Chapel Hill High and also completing his degree in counseling through a clinical internship at Orenstein Solutions in Cary.