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Bullying

Five Ways to Handle a Bully

1. Stay calm and alert. Consider the options and do nothing to escalate the situation.
2. Walk away. Fighting isn't worth it. You do not have to prove yourself by fighting.
3. Take a non-violent stand. Speak respectfully: "I don't want to fight you."
4. Report it to authorities, but discuss with them how you will be protected from retaliation.
5. Get away. Find safety or call for help.

Five Ways to Prevent Bullying

Conversely, parents often do not learn that their children are bullying other kids until they get a phone call from school or another child's parents. If you suspect that your child is picking on others, here are some ways to intervene:

1. Notice if your child lacks empathy, dominates others, is selfish or refuses to accept responsibility. This could be a warning sign of bullying tendencies.
2. If your child ever engages in bullying acts, he should apologize to the victims and undo any damage, such as replacing stolen or destroyed property.
3. Make sure your child doesn't hang out with other bullies who may be influencing his behavior. If he does, encourage new friendships.
4. Help your child understand that physical or emotional abuse is never acceptable.
5. Talk to your child, other parents, and teachers about what is going on. The more you know about your child's everyday activities, the better you can prevent at-risk behavior.

by Dr. Ken Druck author of "How to Talk to Your Kids About School Violence" and founder of the "Families Helping Families" program. He has worked with families at Columbine and Santana High Schools, in New York City after 9/11, and at other sites of tragedy. Dr. Druck has been interviewed on Oprah, Larry King Live and dozens more shows nationwide. http://www.howtotalktoyourkids.com/

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