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  October 31, 2014
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Bully Proof Your Student

It probably started in preschool when your son was playing with the truck and a big mean four and a half year old just came over and stole that dump truck right out of your sweet innocent little man's precious little hands.  How dare he?!

The fact is, kids can be mean. Shoot, adults can be mean too.  Why do you think someone created the bumper sticker, "Mean people suck"?  You can't be with your child 24/7 to protect him from the school bully.  You can't control what other children do; but you can control how your child reacts. Or at least hopefully you can bully proof your student.

For starters you want to ensure your precious baby isn't on the giving end of the bullying.  Not only is it rude and wrong, it could land your assertive child a suspension. (Assertive sounds so much better than aggressive, don't you agree?)

You would do well to explain the psychology of a school bully before your child is faced with a situation where he (or she) is the one being bullied.   The "do unto others rule' is a good place to start.  You can also explain that often children act like a bully to mask other feelings (anger, disappointment etc.)  If your student isn't doing anything intentional to egg on the rough and tough, the odds are in his favor he may not be a target.

Only you know whether or not your child is mature enough to understand what makes a bully act in a certain manner.  If you still have "a situation" even after you've thoroughly and repeatedly discussed how to play nice and how to avoid instigating any negative playground behavior, it's time for Plan B.

Make sure that your child's teacher is aware of the situation.  That's not considered tattling; it's your responsibility.  Often school can and should put an end to it once they become aware.  Ok, so you tried all that and it still didn't stop?  Assuming you already had the discussions about defending, not offending; using words not violence, then as a last resort your child should feel free to defend himself.  While most parents teach their child that fighting is bad, getting the snot kicked out of you is bad too.

If you personally don't have the knowledge to equip your child, then enroll him in a martial arts class.  There is absolutely no correlation between children becoming violent after attending a few self defense lessons.  Don't you want to bully proof your student?

With all that said, remind your child that the easiest way to remedy the situation may be to befriend the bully.

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