Essential Rules of Parenting: Dealing with Your Child's School
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Teach Them to Stand Up For Themselves
So what's this Rule about? Well, if your child is facing -- or might ever face -- bullying, the most crucial thing you can do is to teach him to handle it before it goes too far. Do you know why kids get bullied? For being different. And researchers have found that 75 percent of kids have been upset by teasing or bullying about their appearance. In fact, one in five have played hooky or feigned an illness to avoid being taunted about the way they look. Pretty scary figures, huh?
The two traditional methods of handling bullies are at opposite extremes. One school of thought says you should tell your child to hit back. However, not surprisingly, although this can work, it more often leads to an escalation of the problem. The other popular advice is to ignore it and the bully will stop. This is a piece of advice that some parents give because they want it to be true. But it isn't. All the evidence shows that the reverse is actually true.
So what's the answer? Your child's best bet is to look confident, make eye contact, and distract the bully by changing the subject. Of course, it doesn't work in every scenario, but if your child is naturally confident, has good self-esteem, and cares about his appearance, he's half way to not being bullied in the first place. And you can give him all those things well before he meets his first bully.
More on: Choosing a Quality School
From The Rules of Parenting Copyright © 2008, FT Press. Used by permission of FT Press, and Pearson Education. All rights reserved.
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