I have a ten year old daughter who is being teased at school. It is so hard not to go running to her defense. when asked if she reported this behaviour to her teacher she said no. I asked her if she wanted me to talk to her teacher for her and she said that she feared extra harassment if i did so what do you think i should do. How do we prepare the preteens for this kind of innocent cruelty??

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Pam - posted on 01/22/2009

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I agree with Juli - be discreet, but you've got to let the school know. Kids are pretty sneaky and it's entirely possible the teachers don't know it's going on or to the extent that it is. You could also be in touch with the school psychologist or social worker and see if there's a school policy or program to deter bullying or to help your daughter combat the bullying. At home, continue to build her self-esteem by encouraging her strengths and involvement in activities she enjoys. Practice ways she can respond to bullying - being firm and in control of her emotions and, if possible, avoiding situations where it happens. But please, make her teacher (if you trust him/her) aware of the situation. If this was a student in my class, I WANT to know so I can keep an eye out and get to the bottom of it. Good luck!

[deleted account]

Schools have anti-bullying policies for a reason. Our school district has one.

Perhaps yours needs one.

Bullying is not tolerated, and in our schools kids are taught how to recognize bullying and how to stop it through student and teacher intervention.



The school cannot address this issue if they don't know that it's happening.

One of the recurring themes that arises in the wake of school shootings is that someone involved was bullied. Bullying threatens the safety of our schools on more than one level, obviously.

We must all do our part to prevent school violence and reporting bullying is a first step.

If one is not a part of the solution, one is a part of the problem.

[deleted account]

My daughter is 6 and although not in this situation yet, she did ask me why there are bullies. I had to explain to her that usually children who act that way are looking for attention and trying to make someone else look bad so they feel as bad as they do. I told my daughter that they probably act that way because they don't have someone to care for them in a way they should be and that she should feel sorry for them. This made her feel pity for them rather than scared or intimidated by them. Good luck to you.

Annemarie - posted on 01/19/2009

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I remember those days well because I went through the same thing not so long ago when my daughter was that age. It must be a part of growing pains that this age group goes through. It is hard not to get involved, but if it persists, then you're going to have to. This type of cruelty is not always that innocent, especially if your child is consistently the one being targeted. It could escalate to more threatening actions and behavior and you want to avoid that. In the meantime, the best thing you can do is to make sure you keep open communication with your daughter. Make sure that you are counteracting the negative messages with positive ones so that she can continue to build her self esteem. If she feels good and confident about herself, then when she's faced with those tough situations, maybe over time, it might get easier for her to just ignore the confusion and let the teasing roll off her back. I hope you find this helpful! Good luck!

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