Bullying is never fun for a child. It’s also not fun for a parent to have to help their child navigate dealing with it, especially when all you want to do is march down to that kid bullying your child and put them in their place. The best thing for you to do is to talk to your child about bullying.

We understand that every situation is different, but we’ve put together some tips on how to arm your child if they’re ever bullied.

1: Warn your child in advance of bullying

Sit down and have a chat with your child and inform them about what bullying is, the signs of it, and find out whether or not it’s already going on in their life. Educate them that if bullying is going on in school or online, they should always tell you. If it ever happens online tell them to come to you before they react or delete what has happened.

2: Strengthen your child

Make sure to tell your child that bullying is more of an issue with the bully than the victim’s personality. Often when a bully targets someone, it becomes a bit of a mob. Because other kids are afraid of the bully, they’ll join in with the bully to pick on the victim. Teach your child not to abandon the victim. If they’re the victim, tell them that they can find support in their friends.

3. Prepare responses

If your child has come to you before the real bullying starts you can help arm them with the proper responses. You want your child to have a few lines in their toolbox to say back to the bully that will disarm the bully, not add fuel to the fire.

4. Make friends

Did you know one of the most efficient ways to shut down bullying is by having a bystander intervene? If the victim has a friend that says “Hey, that’s my friend; don’t do that,” it will greatly help in shutting down the situation. Encourage your child to make a pact with their friends, if you’ve got my back I’ve got yours.

5. Talk to the school

Does your child’s school have any sort of bullying education for their students? If not, you should talk to the school whether your child is being bullied or not.

Sometimes these tips aren’t nearly enough. In worst case scenarios, bullying can become a criminal matter and the police have to get involved. Hopefully, by gearing your child and yourself, you can avoid that situation.