To be clear: bullying is not a "rite of passage" or a "part of every child's life." In fact, it is anti-social unhealthy behavior/ Period.
Children should know this and understand this. Understanding bullying is both hurtful and no healthy will help them when they are defending themselves. Letting a bully know- off to the side "hey, you may not understand this, but this is uncomfortable/rude and it is not normal", will actually make bullies think twice.
Many bullies won't care what you say and will continue their compulsive behavior. This is where parents really need to understand that bullying is not normal. If a school administrator or parent says the following to you, "hey this happens to many kids", your answer should be: "Then, unfortunately, you have a large problem. Just because it is happening does not make it normal. Bullying is anti-social unhealthy behavior and it needs to be stopped."
Please see our website for free resources for parents and educators: solutionsforbullying.com.