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School bullying: advice for parents

A new tip sheet (.pdf) from the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine offers advice for parents concerned about school bullying. The tips are geared for two situations: parents whose children are being bullied and parents who suspect their kids are bullying others.

A few excerpts, first for the parents of bullies' victims:

If your child tries to keep calm and walk away from the bully and it does not work, the next step is to become assertive (a word that describes being brave without being mean). Talk with your child about standing tall and looking the bully in the eyes, then saying something like: "Stop doing that now or I will report you to the teacher," or "I will talk with you but I will not fight, so put your fists down."

And for parents of the bullies:

A study in this month's Archives found that men who reported bullying their childhood peers in school were more likely to physically or sexually abuse their female partners as adults.

Talk with your pediatrician about your concerns. Your pediatrician may recommend evaluation or treatment by a psychologist or psychiatrist. Investing in this treatment now may help your child get along better with peers in school and may prevent future potential problems with peers and partners.

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