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Teaching Your Child How to Deal with Mean Kids

As much as you’d like to protect your kids from everything, there comes a point in each child’s life where mommy and daddy can’t immediately step in to help. This can be hard when child needs to deal with a mean kid or bully. Although you can’t fight your kids’ battles for them, you can help equip your children with the skills needed to deal with these mean kids.

Identify the Behavior

If your kid comes home from school complaining about a mean kid, talk to your child and try to identify the mean behavior. Oftentimes, young children get into small arguments for little to no reason, but are back to being best friends within a minute or two. By identifying the behavior, you and your child can discuss why that other child was being mean. Maybe your child wouldn’t share blocks or another child just hurt their feelings.

Talk It Out

Once you know what the issue is, you can help your child learn how to talk it out with the mean kid. Help your child understand that it’s ok to ask the mean kid why they’re not being nice or if there’s something wrong. By using kind and gentle words to help solve the problem, many times the mean kid will reveal that they are feeling hurt or that they were unaware they were being mean.

Role Play

If your child isn’t sure how to deal with the mean kids, role play a situation that has happened or that could happen. First, pretend that you’re the bully and let your child react to the situation. You can then reverse roles, letting your child pretend to be the mean kid while you model the right behavior to solve problems.

Ignore Them

If there is no reasoning with the mean kids, you’ll need to teach your child to ignore them. If possible, teach your child to move to another area of the room to learn or play and to avoid the mean kids when it comes to partner work. By ignoring them, your child is letting the mean kids know that they aren’t going to play along with any mean games.

There’s no single way to teach your child to deal with mean kids. Unfortunately, when it comes to kids, not every situation is the same. The child could be acting mean because they’re hurt or upset. Maybe the other child has been abused or lacks the social skills needed to make friends. By teaching your child different ways to handle a mean kid situation, you’re giving them the tools they need to peacefully solve their problems. If a situation with a mean kid persists, you can then step in, contacting parents or teachers to see what needs to be done to keep everyone happy and safe.

Do you have any other tips you can share about teaching your child how to deal with mean kids? I would love to hear them. 

Annmarie John
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  1. This is one of the hardest and most important aspects of parenthood. Teaching kids resiliency is one of the most important life lessons - and it's a constant struggle as a parent to refrain from wanting to make things right. Excellent advice!

  2. I always tell them to just ignore it. Why waste energy on it.

  3. I have been lately telling my child to be nice to the mean kid and surprising the kid stops being mean. This does not always work though.

  4. Great tips. I do not have any because we are not at that age yet thankfully. I will remember these though.

  5. I've had one instance of a mean kid. It happened in front of me (and the other parents weren't around), so I worked on getting my son to play with another kid and hopefully ignore the mean kid.

  6. Mean kids can be so cruel and different situations need to be handled differently. It is so hard when other kids are being mean to your kid not to tell them to slap them silly or go do it yourself. LOL... Great tips to keep me from doing just that.

  7. hard to do when your child has a disability - my mother had a hard time with that when i was a child with a disability

  8. I think you are doing all you can within reason to explain and show your kids how to deal with other kids who are acting mean. Hopefully it doesn't escalate where you have to get involved.

  9. I've had to sit back and watch all six of my kids be teased, I was teased, my brothers were...mean kids have always been. I just take it day by day, each kids situation is different. When we grow up we get why mean kids were mean, they had issues

  10. So many children today are bullied by mean kids. These are awesome tips that I think should be utilized all the time. I grew up dealing with mean kids all the time and it still bothers me today sadly.

  11. I think you covered all of them. Just tell them to remember that mean kids normally see something in them that they don't see in themselves and to be understanding.

  12. The questions that need to be asked are: How likely are the mean kids that are enrolled in schools today heading towards becoming the workplace bullies of tomorrow? From my point of view I would have to say it is very likely. Great tips indeed.I try to follow it to my son who always experience it in their school. Thanks.

  13. This is a good article. Keep talking to your kids and lead by example how to treat others. I truly believe children follow the habits of there parents. Thanks for sharing.

  14. These are some great tips for dealing with mean kids and bullies. When I was growing up, I would ignore the mean kids when they would do something to me. They eventually stopped.

  15. These are great tips. Open communication is important.

  16. All good tips. I think middle school has always seemed the worst, I guess that's just an age where kids are getting growing pains (figuratively speaking), and some of them behave in ways that do not behoove them at all. That's just been my experience though, so far, w/the kids.

  17. I do appreciate these. There aren't many mean kids in her small kindergarten, but you can see kids with the mean seeds in them. It's scary. And I want to be able to talk to Scarlet directly and without my own anger or sadness coloring my discussions.

  18. So sad... we just came from India and culturally i feel like my kids now have some bullying tendencies... :(

  19. Great tips! We should teach children to stand up for themselves as early as possible. And at the same time, not to be the bullies.


[name=AnnMarie John] [img=] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook= (instagram= (twitter= (pinterest= (

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