The Bullying Antidote

Superpower Your Kids for Life

by Dr. Louise Hart and Kristen Caven

With bullying at epidemic proportions, parents have to work to protect children from violence, depression, substance abuse, and suicide. More than anyone else, parents and other caring adults have that power, and can promote the well-being of children.

In this critical, life-saving book, Hart and Caven give parents the skills they need to help their children—whether 6, 16, or 26—cope with bullying. They explore the ways they can be the antidote to pain inflicted by bullies, and immunize their kids against emotional harm.

The Bullying Antidote focuses on prevention as well as healing for the entire family. It is the first parenting book to explore bullying and other abusive behaviors in the context of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

Packed with insight and helpful information on how bullying relates to all societal ills, this book is a resource for building deep connection, protection, and empowerment. The authors provide a course of action for:

  • creating a family culture where bullying behavior is not accepted,
  • boosting inner strength in children—self-respect, self-confidence, self-esteem and resilience,
  • teaching assertiveness skills so that kids do not bully others, or attract bullies.

Written in an accessible and guilt-free style, The Bullying Antidote synthesizes the research, practices, and wisdom that brings out the best in parents and children alike. It also helps parents improve their knowledge, emotional well-being, and confidence.

Read an interview with both authors here.

375 pages (English)
ISBN-10: 1616494174
ISBN-13: 978-1616494179
6×9″ $14.95
Hazelden (2013)

“Focuses on raising mentally healthy children.”Publishers Weekly

“I easily recommend this wise and readable book for everyone–parents and non-parents. The Bullying Antidote presents the whole gamut of factors affecting the inner life of a child, family and school, and also discusses the systemic life of culture and world. Kudos to Louise and to Kristen for the way they have gathered this information, and imbued it with wise offerings for ALL of us! Let’s make this a better world for everyone—including my grandkids, of course. This is do-able!”Jeanne Gibbs, founder of Tribes Learning Communities used in thousands of schools in the U.S. and internationally

“The Bullying Antidote provides parents with the knowledge and skills necessary to raise strong, resilient, assertive and emotionally healthy kids.”Rick Hanson, author of New York Times bestselling books Buddha’s Brain and Hardwiring Happiness

“This book is the answer for parents who ‘wonder what to do’ when it comes to dealing with bullies! Thanks for a major contribution to the conversation about how to have a more civil society!”Dr. Lynn Fraley R.N., past president of National Speakers Association, San Francisco CA

“Full of great wisdom and advice, this book gives many excellent ways to prevent and cure bullying problems. Among the causes of bullying are abusive behavior among family members, substance abuse, violent TV and video games and more. A child learns the behavior he or she observes, and abusiveness or violence behavior witnessed repeatedly desensitizes a person to such acts. Children must be given self esteem and shown how to behave in kind, compassionate, empathetic ways so that they will be treated in the same way. This is a very important book for our generation of youngsters and their parents.”Bonnie Neely, Amazon Reviewer

“Parents will find pointers to help kids who are being bullied, help kids who witness bullying, and even to intervene to help their child who is acting like a bully. The last half of The Bullying Antidote is essentially a primer on positive parenting, designed to help parents evolve their child-raising to give their child the self-regard and social skills that are essential to navigate a complex social world.”Dr. Laura Markham, author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting

“This book helps parents raise children who can resist bullying, as well as prevent them from becoming bullies themselves. Although we will never be able to make bullying go away entirely, we can equip our kids with a ‘superpower’ that enables them to restore their health, happiness, and balance in the face of bullying. The authors present both an ‘outside-in’ approach, whereby adults are ‘enforcing rules and laws and holding kids accountable in order to change behavior, as well as an ‘inside-out’ approach, whereby adults help children develop attitudes, values, and skills that empower them to have respectful relationships based on rights and responsibility.”Susan Heim, author, editor of Chicken Soup for the Soul

“The Bullying Antidote covers everything that’s been important in our discoveries in child development in the last ten years. I highly recommend this vitally important and well-written book for everyone invested in putting a stop to the bullying epidemic. Nelvin Valentine, Child Development Specialist, Napa Valley College Parent Education Program

“The Bullying Antidote exposes the often unspoken truth: Bullies aren’t born bullies; their behavior has a valid cause that can be prevented and reversed. Hart and Caven give clear insight into ways to prevent what leads to bullying as well as how to respond in ways that heal and connect.”Naomi Aldort, author of Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves

“As a boy I was bullied, then I became a bully until divine intervention and solid parenting lifted me out of the cycle. Now as a construction and wood-shop teacher in a big public high school, I get to know tough young men just before they graduate or drop out. It has become an important aspect of my life’s work to help young men understand how to enjoy their masculine strength in a way that builds others up, and doesn’t tear them down. This book is like a complete tool kit with every hammer, saw, screwdriver, wrench and sander we need in order to be a part of the solution. What a huge difference it would make if every teacher, social worker, youth leader, school administrator, counselor and minister knew how to use all these pro-active and positive tools correctly. It would eradicate bullying in the same way that we won the worldwide battle against smallpox.”Damian Nash, high school teacher, Hawaii

“Hart and Caven have tackled bullying head on, armed with cutting edge research and neuroscience. This well-written, understandable, and comprehensive book gives readers the information, insight, and specific tools they need to begin creating a better environment for all our children.”Anna Jedrziewski, Retailing Insight Trade Magazine

“This wise and very caring book is about much more than bullying. It underscores that there is nothing more important than our raising and teaching children to grow up in healthy, caring and responsible ways. The authors detail a series of very practical and thoughtful suggestions about how we can be even better parents and teachers. I highly recommend it.”Jonathan Cohen, Ph.D., President, National School Climate Center; Adjunct Professor in Psychology and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

“This very important book tackles the bullying problem head on. It discusses the enormous changes in society–general permissiveness, for example, and the technology tsunami–that have brought about huge challenges. It equips kids with a ‘superpower’ based on respectful relationships, self-regulation, and responsibility. Mean behavior is not accepted, so youngsters are removed from the knee-jerk bullying dynamic. Children can flourish!”Cliff Crain, Marriage and Family Therapist and Director of the Center for Creative Living, Danville, CA

Read 50 things parents will learn in this book here.

“This book is comprehensive. It covers societal factors, parenting styles, childhood development, self-esteem, emotional intelligence, brain science, best practices in schools, communication, and family dynamics – and all of the ways these factors contribute to the cause – and then the solution – to Bullying.”Kristin L. Roush, Ph.D., Psychology Professor

“The biggest predictor of life-long success is the ability to make and keep friends. Bullying interrupts this process.”Nicholas Carlisle, founder of NoBully

“The book teachers hundreds of specific, positive practices to turn the next generation of children into richly developed, healthy adolescents and adults. The overall intent is not just to stop a single bullying incident, but to develop immunity to future bullying events. Parents and community leaders, by becoming educated about the mechanics of power dynamics and prevention, can build bully-free, emotionally safe families, neighborhoods, and communities. This big-picture theory of bullying spans across communities and generations, one that will ring a bell for most parents.”Future Parent Magazine

“The authors’ insight into the Bully/Target dynamic is extraordinary. Some people seem to be magnets that attract Bullies–it’s as if the Bullies can sense vulnerability. This book is an excellent resource for parents to teach bully-sensitive children to overcome and eliminate attacks. As an adult it has given me tools to counter bullying in the work place and social groups.”Elaine E. Webster

“As I read this book, all I could keep saying was, ‘This is exactly what I have always thought and there is research to back it up!’ If you raise children to be proud, respectful, happy and confident, they will flourish to be pillars of our society. This book encourages us to reflect on our own upbringing, to understand the patterns we all pass on and to take time to examine how our behaviors promote bullying or superpower our children. Pick up this book. You won’t be able to put it down!”Kelly A. Guglietti

“The Bullying Antidote covers more aspects of bullying than other sources I have found. A continuous theme in the book is that no single source shoulders all of the responsibility for bullying, but instead many levels of environment and society lend to these unfortunate scenarios. Another great strength of the book is that it empowers the reader to take an active role in combating cultural trends that lead to children behaving violently. Hart goes into how one should speak to children about the importance of peace, and being critical thinkers instead of passive consumers of conflicting media. The guide remains adaptable to almost any situation and scenario. Conflict between children of different cultural identities and gender is also explored. For an in depth trove of easy to implement strategies in abuse prevention, look no further than this great book!”Omar Cosme

More Reviews


DSC_5957 croppedThe Bullying Antidote: Superpower Your Kids for Life, is written by a mother-daughter team. Hart brings the broad perspective of a community psychologist – and the depth of caring of a concerned grandmother; developing healthier families has been her vision and mission since childhood. Caven brings the immediacy of a mother helping a teenager navigate the challenges of the modern world.

Dr. Louise Hart has spoken to many thousands of parents and educators nationwide. She also worked for the US Army Family Advocacy Program at many bases including West Point, Pearl Harbor, Japan, Okinawa, and nine installations in Germany. A highlight of her career was speaking at the Second Annual Self-Esteem Conference in Russia. Dr. Hart changed the conversation about positive parenting for mental health in the 1990s through her groundbreaking books, The Winning Family and On the Wings of Self-Esteem.

Kristen Caven is the mother of a young adult, a writer, teacher, and community leader. She blogs at ADDitude Magazine and authored The Souls of Her Feet. Kristen has a Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology. (CAPP)



Bullying is a cultural dynamic and real change happens more powerfully when we grow together. Don’t read The Bullying Antidote alone! Read and discuss it with other parents from your family, school, church, or community.

The Zorgos Project provides questions for each chapter to help guide conversations about the book. You can choose:


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