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Anderson: Bullying Prevention Expert on What Parents Can Do

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Recently, the new Anderson show covered the topic of bullying, which featured bullying prevention expert, Dr. Dorothy Espelage. (By the way, Anderson Cooper went on to host a week of shows about bullying and prevention on AC360 a week later and that’s why he should get a Be the One Go-To Adult Award.)

I’m sharing it again, here, because Dr. Espelage gives a tremendous amount of solid advice for parents in a very short period of time and it’s worth watching and sharing. She talks about the school’s responsibility but also how critical it is for the kids to come home to a safe environment — one in which they can share what’s happening without worry that we’ll overreact or under react — and one that can cushion them from some of the negative things they’re experiencing. In other words, they need a sympathetic ear and reassurance that they’re important and loved.

Tips from the interview include:


• Insist on a bully prevention plan or safety plan for your child
• Call parents of bullies or bully group and arrange a meeting, if you can
• Get your child involved in other activities to build confidence
• If you have the means, get your child in therapy


• Get off of Formspring and other social networks
• Tell, tell, tell! Talk to parents, and your support network
• Keep record of all bully incidents
• Manage your anger
• Reach out to other kids in your school that are being bullied
• Do not let the bullies know that they got to you
• Role-play

When you listen to her interview, she also mentions that the school bullying policy should match what is really happening. In other words, it’s not good enough for a school to say they have a policy if kids aren’t being stopped from bullying kids with disabilities or the way they look, etc. It’s a great point.

Come to think of it, Dr. Espelage should also get a Be the One Go-To Adult Award.