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Bullies at school

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Updated: 4/18/2007 7:12 am
Unfortunately, every class usually has a bully or two. The boys are more likely to hit or get into fights. With girls, aggression tends to take the form of saying mean things, or excluding others. If your child has an encounter with a bully, don't overreact. It could make the child feel more helpless, if you immediately rush to their rescue. Instead, base your actions on how your child responds to the incident. In a couple of days, they may forget the whole thing. But when bullying happens repeatedly, you'll need to deal with the problem. One way is to help your child make more friends; kids with a wide social network are less likely to be picked on. Plan a fun outing with a couple of classmates, or invite kids over to your house. Suggest that they join a club or group, like Girl Scouts or Little League. You can also practice ways your child might respond to the bully. First, have them tell a teacher what's going on. While many kids are reluctant to be tattletales, other children in the class are likely to resent the bully too, and be glad someone told. If an adult isn't around, your child should ignore the bully, or tell them forcefully to stop. Let them know aggression should be used only as a last resort.
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