If a bully is bothering your child:
- Let your child know that she or he is not to blame. Listen and take seriously what is said about the bully.
- Review the choices with your child. Often the children who are bullied are shy and non-aggressive and it is not realistic to expect their personalities to change. Suggest that she or he look the bully in the eye, and say “I don’t like your teasing,” and then walk away.
- Encourage other friendships. There is safety in being with others and anyway, your child will want to have friends. Invite friends over and encourage your child to join clubs or teams.
- Praise your child for facing up to his or her fears of the bully. Remember that going to school knowing that one may be bullied is an act of bravery.
- Talk with the school principal/teachers, and with other parents.
- Tell your child to stay close to the adult who is supervising the playground.
- Have your child go inside as soon as the bully appears in the neighborhood.
- Transfer your child to another school.
- If all else fails, parents can file a complaint with the police. Many times the police can offer suggestions to help deal with a bully.
Family Focus is a series of positive parenting tips and information sheets developed by specialists at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. For a complete list of topics, visit our Web site: http://www.childrensmn.org/, and click on “For Families and Patients” then “Positive Parenting.”
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