May 1, 2023

It's every parent's worst nightmare: their child being bullied. Instances of bullying can be very difficult for a child to deal with, whether in person, online in the form of cyberbullying, or both. In some cases, it can even have some adverse lasting effects if not dealt with properly. In this article we will discuss some strategies for how to help your daughter deal with bullies.

According to the NCES, about 1 in every 5 students report being bullied. Girls are more likely to be bullied emotionally than physically, which can often go unnoticed by adults. Without the proper guidance, your daughter may struggle to deal with her bully, or worse, she may even be too embarrassed to come to you for help.

If you suspect your daughter is being bullied, but she hasn't approached you about it, there are tell-tale signs to look out for before taking action.

how to recognize if your daughter is being bullied

How To Recognize If Your Child is Being Bullied

While physical bullying is often easier to spot, emotional bullying can be more difficult to detect, especially if your child is too embarrassed or ashamed to tell you what's going on. 

Having a strong bond with your daughter can help make it easier for her to confide in you if something is wrong, but you should always be on the lookout for changes in her behavior.

Some common signs of bullying are:

  • Suddenly becoming withdrawn or anxious, especially after using the internet or social media.
  • Reluctance to attend school or a group activity she used to enjoy.
  • Loss of friends or social withdrawal.
  • Would prefer you drive her to school instead of taking the bus.
  • Sudden changes in eating habits.
  • Complaints of headaches, illness, or stomach aches with no medical cause.
  • Decreased self-esteem or sense of worthlessness.

If you notice one or more of these common signs, have a conversation with her about what's happening. While bullying may not be the issue, there may be other factors at play that are causing her distress. Approach her gently, and let her know you're there for her and want to help if she's going through something.

Once your daughter opens up to you about being bullied, there are some steps you can take to help her deal with the situation.

how to recognize if you child is being bullied

Tips to Help Your Daughter Deal With a Bully

Arm Your Daughter With the Facts on Bullying

The first step is to educate your daughter about bullying. This can be done even before your child starts going to school. Reading books or watching movies about bullying together can help start a conversation about what bullying is and how to deal with it.

Your child needs to understand that bullying is not her fault and that her bully is the one with the problem. Helping her identify forms of bullying, such as physical, verbal, and cyberbullying, can help her understand that what she's experiencing is not normal or acceptable behavior.

By making her aware of bullying, she can feel more comfortable coming to you if she experiences it herself. It also equips her with the knowledge of how to deal with it should she find herself in that situation.

how to help your daughter deal with a bully

Help Build Up Her Confidence to Take Away the Bully's Power

A bully's power comes from the fact that they make their victim feel small and unworthy. One way to help your daughter deal with a bully is to build her confidence. Try these tips at home to help boost her self-esteem:

  • Create a home environment where self-love and positive self-talk are encouraged.
  • Teach her to celebrate her uniqueness.
  • Encourage her to practice self-esteem and confidence journaling. (Include link to journal writing tips or journal buying guide)
  • Help her to develop a strong sense of self-worth by complimenting her strengths and abilities.
  • Model confidence and positive self-esteem yourself.
  • Encourage her to explore activities outside of her comfort zone.
  • Avoid harsh criticism and instead provide constructive feedback.
  • Help boost her self-esteem by empowering her to try new things.
  • Celebrate effort over accomplishments, so she doesn't feel like she has to be perfect.

By increasing her confidence, you can help take away the bully's power. Confidence and a tough skin will give your daughter the strength to ignore her bully or shut them down entirely. As she develops her self-worth, she'll learn that the mean words of some bully aren't worth her time or energy.

Practice Different Ways to React To Her Bully

How your daughter reacts to her bully will often determine what happens next. An emotional response is exactly what the bully is looking for, so help your child find other ways to react that will diffuse the situation. 

There are a few different ways she can react:

Ignore Them and Walk Away

 This is often the best option, as it removes the bully's power and avoids further conflict. It can be difficult, but sometimes it's the best thing she can do. Bullies are looking for a reaction, so if she ignores them, they may eventually get bored and stop. It also shows that she's not going to engage with their bad behavior.

Block Them 

If she's being cyberbullied, she should show you the messages or comments first in case you need to involve a parent or school administrator. Afterward, she can delete the message, block the bully, and report them.

Report the Bully to an Adult

 More often than not, the best thing she can do is tell a trusted adult about what's happening. This could be a teacher, parent, school counselor, or administrator. They can help investigate the situation and put a stop to the bullying.

Stand up to Them

In some cases, the bully needs to be confronted directly. This should only be done if she feels safe and confident enough to do so. These tips can help her stand up to a bully:

Be Assertive: This doesn't mean being aggressive. Assertiveness is about standing up for oneself calmly and confidently. She should use phrases like:

  • "That's enough, don't talk to me like that again."
  • "You're being very rude, and you need to stop."
  • "You're just being a bully, and I'm not going to put up with it."

Use Strong Body Language: Stand up straight, make eye contact, and keep her voice firm. This will show her bully that she's not going to be intimidated or scared.

Find Strength in Numbers: There's safety in numbers, so if possible, she should try to stand up to bullies with a friend or group of friends.

Coping Skills for Dealing with a Bully

Help Her Develop Different Coping Skills

Dealing with bullies can be tough, but you can help your daughter develop different coping skills to deal with the stress and anxiety of being bullied.

Some coping skills she can use are:

Deep Breathing Exercises

These can help her to calm down and relax in the moment. It's also a good way to deal with anxiety and stress in general.

Positive Self-talk

 This is about speaking kindly to oneself in a positive and encouraging way. For example: "I am strong," "I can handle this," "I'm strong enough to get through this," or "I'm not going to let them bully me."


This is a great way to express her thoughts and feelings about what's going on. It's also considered a form of self-care, allowing her to get everything out of her head and onto paper. She can use her journal as a problem-solving tool to identify different ways to deal with her bully. Locking journals are a great option because they provide safety and privacy allowing honest feelings to flow. 

Read11 Science-Backed Reasons To Have Your Child Keep a Daily Journal.


This releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting and stress-relieving properties. It's also a great way to let off some steam and release pent-up anger in a healthy way.

Talk to Someone She Trusts

 This could be a parent, friend, teacher, school counselor, or therapist. She needs to have someone to talk to who will understand and support her.

Know When to Get Involved

It can be challenging to know when to get involved with your child's bullying situation. Your daughter may want to handle the situation on her own, but there are some cases where it's necessary for you to get involved.

If the bullying persists after your child has tried ignoring the bully and standing up for herself on multiple occasions, it might be time for you to get involved. If the bully is using physical violence, if your child is being cyberbullied, or if the bully is making threats, involve a parent or school administrator right away. These are serious situations that should be addressed immediately.

No one deserves to be bullied, least of all your daughter. If you suspect bullying, the best thing you can do is talk to her about it. Listen to her, believe her, and help her come up with a plan to deal with the bully.

Related articles: How to Help Your Teenager Cope With Stress

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