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
  • festival_7 Offerings at historic Wenham fair continue to grow

    The Wenham Museum's Family Festival and Craft Fair turns 42 this Saturday, and it's still growing. The event, which hosted 45 craftspeople in 2007 and 50 in 2009 will feature more than 70 artisans this year. "We have jewelry," said Cynthia Novotny, s

    August 21, 2014 9 Photos

  • ipswichriver_2 See summer’s end from the water with dusk paddles on Ipswich River Summer is winding down, and the final family dusk paddle will be held tomorrow night at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary. All season, these canoe trips have headed out at evening to explore the Ipswich River and, hopefully, catch a glimpse of wildli

    August 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • muchado North Shore Entertainment Calendar Good causes BENEFIT FOR HOSPICE WALK. Thursday, Aug. 21, 5:30 to 8 p.m., Cafe 75, 75 Sylvan St., Danvers. Care Dimensions will host a Margaritaville-themed party to benefit the 27th annual Walk for Hospice. Event includes live and silent auctions, he

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • raceforkevin Good cause 5K and fun run for Kevin Kevin O'Boyle was a firefighter and an Army veteran when he died a year ago. In his memory, the U.S. Army and the Salem Fire Department, where O'Boyle was employed for five years, will sponsor the inaugural SSG Kevin O'Boyle 5K Run/Walk and Kids Fun

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Cousin’s tag-along kids push the limit of bride’s guest list Dear Abby: I am being married later this year, and I'm planning my guest list. My cousin "Emily" has five young children who I'm making an exception to invite. She lives across the country, so she's starting to book her plane reservations. Emily jus

    August 21, 2014

  • Wednesday's Best Bets Best Bets for Wednesday, Aug. 20

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

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Husband who relives past should focus on present Dear Abby: I'm married to the love of my life. I can't imagine loving a man more than I love "Wayne," and I know he feels the same about me. The problem is, he's always telling stories about things he has done, including past relationships, in graphi

    August 20, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Young man with heart scar has options for covering it up Dear Abby: You printed a letter from "Self-Conscious in Georgia" (May 15), a young man who is insecure about the scar from his heart surgery. I have had three surgeries for congenital defects, my first at 2 years old. Because many women's fashions ex

    August 19, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Angry wife resents husband for hiding news of his health Dear Abby: When my husband is sick or needs to have surgery, he refuses to tell his family and doesn't want me to. This puts me in a very awkward position. I'm damned if I do tell them because he will be upset with me, and damned if I don't because h

    August 18, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Romantics should come back to earth Dear Abby: I have been single for a couple of years. I have always been levelheaded when it comes to romance, but I'm finding myself unable to control my feelings about the new man I'm seeing. "Brent" is smart, intelligent, sweet and loving. We have

    August 16, 2014

NDN Video
Comments Tracker