SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

August 2, 2013

Dr. Kate: 10 tips for helping your child deal with bullies

Dr. Kate, my 12-year-old son has had a vacation from being bullied this summer. Can you give me some advice on how to help him when he returns to school?

A: Although bullying has existed for centuries, today it seems more prevalent than ever before. According to the latest data samples (2010) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 29 percent of children are bullied. This includes face-to-face bullying, as well as cyber-bullying.

Bullying is defined as a form of intimidation or an attempt to have power over someone who is perceived as weaker. There are two types of bullying. Physical aggression or intimidation occurs in face-to-face bullying and is stereotypically between males. This type of bullying includes name-calling, teasing, consistent shoving, poking, posturing and cutting off in lines at school. Social-emotional bullying involves the use of more covert emotional methods to bully another who is seen as weaker and is most often employed by females.

Bullying prevention must occur at a societal level with consistent involvement by policymakers, school administrators and all adults. It is also essential to work with the victims by encouraging them to speak out when they are being bullied. One important aspect is to help the victim develop his sense of self, specifically focusing on building confidence.

Here are some ways parents (and all adults) can help children deal with bullying:

Promote communication. Encourage your child to speak up when he is being bullied. Routinely ask him if anyone is bothering him and take notice of his peer interactions. This includes frenemies; friends that sometimes act like a bully, especially when they do not get their own way in the friendship.

Practice confidence. Nonverbal communication speaks volumes. Have your son practice holding his head high, standing straight up, looking the bully in the eye, and being able to walk around the bully, nodding at him and not avoiding him. Avoidance, cowering and quivering all indicate fear, and bullies love this in their targets. Part of practicing involves role-playing in which parents play the bully while the child uses the nonverbal techniques mentioned. Believe it or not, with practice you can make headway here. This involves retraining the brain to react differently than the default fear response.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • Dear Abby: Younger couples weigh in on how they handle money Dear Readers: On April 11, I printed a letter from "Wondering in Washington," a man asking why young men in general today have the attitude that "any money I earn is mine" in a marriage or live-in situation. He said when he married, he and his wife c

    July 22, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Dating scene is frustrating for strong young woman Dear Abby: I am a young woman hoping to find "The One." But I have come to realize that I'm not the normal female. I don't get manicures or go shopping. (I hate shopping!) When I meet a guy, he likes that I'm "me," but if we get serious, then I'm eit

    July 21, 2014

  • Monday's Best Bets Best Bets for Monday, July 21

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • This weekend's Best Bets Best Bets for Saturday, July 19 and Sunday, July 20

    Looking for something to do this weekend? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • North Shore religion news in brief The Rev. Wesley Williams will be the featured guest for the 9:30 a.m. worship service on Sunday, July 27, at Holy Trinity United Methodist Church, 16 Sylvan St., Danvers. Williams will use the sermon time to lead in the singing of spirituals and give

    July 19, 2014

  • North Shore religion calendar Saturday, July 19 Church Yard Sale, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Our Lady of Fatima Church, 50 Walsh Ave., Peabody. Church-sponsored yard sale features home furnishings, clothing, children's items, furniture and more. Portuguese food will also be available. All

    July 19, 2014

  • North Shore Gardener: Can 10-year-old plant food be used? Q: As I am getting older, my gardening is less and less, but I do have three potted cherry tomato plants on my deck. I wonder if some Vigoro Water Soluble Tomato and Vegetable Plant Food that I have had in my garage for about 10 years would be safe a

    July 18, 2014

  • Dr. Kate's Parent Rap: 6 strategies to help your child build self-advocacy skills As tweens enter middle school, they are expected to manage increased responsibility and independence. Included in this set of expectations is their ability to self-advocate for their needs. Self-advocacy refers to an individual's ability to effective

    July 18, 2014

  • doughboys_2 Book Notes: Author discusses World War I at Wenham Museum All the veterans Richard Rubin interviewed for "The Last of the Doughboys," which was published in 2013, are dead now. Given that his subjects ranged in age from 101 to 113, and he started looking for them in 2003, that is hardly surprising. What re

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • womaninyard Quick pick 'East End Open Studio' An art show featuring the work of 15 artists who all live and work in the East End District of Ipswich is on view this weekend at the Ipswich Moving Company Studio at 2 Cogswell St. in Ipswich. The show is called "East End Open

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

NDN Video
Comments Tracker