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I agree completely, but I think it's very personal and depends on the relationship between parent and child, and on the situation. Parents need to be very careful because this type of intervention can easily backfire and create an even bigger problem for the child. I think maybe the best thing a parent can do is from a very young age, start to talk with the child about how to handle him or herself so as to deter bullying, and about how to deal with a bullying situation if one arises. Making sure a child understands bullying for what it is (and the insecurities of those who tend to become bullies) is a start, but only a start. Not all bullying is the same, and being sensitive to the nature of the individual situation is extremely important. But an even more challenging problem is that many kids don't trust that their parents are capable of either giving good advice or helping them deal with a problem effectively - and in many cases they are right! I have seen cases where a mother steps in to help her son with a sports-related bullying issue, only to end up making the situation a lot worse than it would have been if she had just stayed out of it altogether. Bullying is probably one of the most difficult (and therefore most avoided) issues in raising children, but it is also one of the most critical in helping a child make the transition to adulthood in a healthy and confident manner.
Toggle Commented Apr 29, 2010 on Finish this thought... at
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Apr 28, 2010