Book: How to react if your child is bullied


By William Loeffler
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Deborah Carpenter thought she had a few years grace period before her 4-year-old son would have to deal with bullies. But then she asked him to identify his classmates in his preschool photo. After naming several children, he pointed to another and said “… and this is my bully.”

Carpenter was motivated to write “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Dealing with Bullies” with psychologist Christopher J. Ferguson (Adams Media; $14.95). The book outlines the culture of bullying, types of bullies and strategies for dealing with them.

It also debunks several myths about bullies. For example, they don’t torment those weaker than themselves to compensate for low-self esteem. Most bullies think highly of themselves. A child can be bullied by someone shorter than them, while verbal bullying can be just as hurtful as physical bullying.

The book also includes information on cyberbullying and the queasy triumvirate of bully, victim and bystander. Ask any kid in school, from elementary through high school, who is being bullied by whom, and they can tell you, writes Carpenter.

Among her suggestions:

• Learn the difference: Conflict between children on the playground or the hall is part of life, but the three signs of bullying are an imbalance of power, intent to harm (physically or verbally) and the threat of future harm. Full story.

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