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Does teasing end when kids graduate from elementary school? Does it stop when they move on from middle to high school? Does it magically disappear when we become adults? Or is it sadly true that most of us will encounter bullies throughout our lifetimes?
 
Because we can't ensure that the world will always be sweet and kind to our kids, common sense tells us that we ought to equip them with skills that allow them to cope with this sometimes less-than-considerate world. Listed below are some quick tips:
 
  • Teach them that bullies get their power from our negative emotions. The more upset we get when picked on, the more powerful mean kids feel.
  • Show your child how to trick bullies by pretending to be calm. If our children can learn to act calm when bullies hassle them, they become far less attractive targets.
  • Teach your child to confuse or bewilder bullies by responding to verbal taunts with replies like, "Thanks for noticing" or "I appreciate the feedback."
  • Help your child develop great social skills so that they are liked, accepted, and protected by positive peers. Kids who don't know how to relate in healthy ways often find themselves gravitating toward peers who treat them poorly.
 
In her wonderful book, Words Will Never Hurt Me, Sally Ogden provides practical strategies for achieving the goals stated above. A mother who read the book commented, "Because of this book, my daughter has convinced the bullies in her school that she's no fun to pick on! She loves to say, 'Thanks for noticing!' when they call her nasty things. She's become such a great actress that they leave her alone most of the time."
 
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
 
Dr. Charles Fay
 
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