How to Help Your Teen Stop Cyberbullying Others

If you learn your teen is cyberbullying others, it’s normal to feel shocked, upset, angry, or even guilty. Whatever you’re feeling, know that bullying is a behavior, and it doesn’t define someone. 

Your teen may be cyberbullying, but it’s not who they are. Most likely, your teen is doing it in response to something they’ve experienced or are going through. Getting to the bottom of why it’s happening is the first step to helping them stop.


On your own, think through these questions:

  • Has your teen been exposed to or experienced bullying themselves? 
  • Are they more stressed than usual right now?
  • Has there been a big change in their life, such as divorce, moving schools, or conflict with a friend?
  • Has your teen experienced sudden changes in friendships or other relationships?
  • Does your teen appear to be avoiding social activities or activities they previously enjoyed?
  • Does your teen talk about cyberbullying behavior as if it’s just how teens interact?

Thinking about the bigger picture of what’s going on with your teen will help you be supportive and open when you talk with them.

You can help your teen stop cyberbullying others by:

  • Asking them open-ended questions and listening without judgment. You might ask: 
    • How do you feel when you make these [comments, posts, etc.] online? 
    • How do you think your actions online may be affecting others?
    • What do you want your online chats with friends or classmates to look like?
  • Helping them reflect on why they might be doing it. 
  • Letting them know their emotional well-being is important and that you’ll help them find mental health support that feels right for them.
  • Brainstorming ways they can make amends or repairs and apologize. If that feels overwhelming to them, offer to help draft a text or practice a conversation.
  • Acting differently than they normally do?

Get more info, support, and actionable tips in The Choose Kindness Project’s Parent Playbooks How to Help a Child Stop Bullying Other Kids and How to Help a Child Being Bullied.

young girl with arms crossed leaning on the wall in the hallway

young child standing in the school hallway with his head down grasping a folder and kids in the hall whispering and pointing at him

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If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone right now, text, call, or chat 988 for a free confidential conversation with a trained counselor 24/7. 

You can also contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741-741.

If this is a medical emergency or if there is immediate danger of harm, call 911 and explain that you need support for a mental health crisis.