Q:

I know that almost all kids are likely to be teased at school at times. What should I tell my kids about teasing so they won't be devastated by it? -- Against Teasing

A:

Teasing is actually a form of bullying. As parents we cannot stop other children from saying cruel things to our children. However, as parents we need to give our children tools so that they are able to handle teasing. One way is to teach them to have ready responses that they are able to say in a firm voice. Here are some examples:

  • -Did you say something?
  • -Thanks for the comment!
  • -Like I would care!
  • -Give me a break!
  • -Who were you talking about, yourself?
  • -People say that a lot about me!
  • -Bingo!

Remind your children that the teasing or bullying is not about them. It is the child doing the teasing or bullying who has the problem. Suggest to your children that they find a safe place on the playground where they are not likely to be singled out and they stay with friends. You can also tell your children to just walk away and not even look at the child who is teasing or bullying them.

You should visit the following bullying websites:

  • -ww.pacerkidsagainstbullying.org Information for elementary school students to learn about bullying prevention, engage in activities and be inspired to take action. This site was created by and for kids.
  • -www.pacerteensagainstbullying.org A place for middle and high school students to find ways to address bullying, to take action, to be heard and to own an important social cause. This site was created by and for teens.
  • -www.stopbullying.gov Information from various government agencies on what bullying and cyberbullying are, who is at risk, and how you can prevent and respond to bullying

If children feel, even with all of your advice, that they cannot cope, they need to get help as often as they need to. If the adult they go to won't do anything, they should find another who will hold the bully accountable.