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Parents, Bully-Proof Your Child

Bullying can be a problem, especially during the middle school years. There is no way to guarantee that a child will never be bullied. There are, however, things you can do to help. Since bullies are less likely to pick on someone who has friends, encourage him or her to get to know other students. Suggest that they join a club, band, choir, athletics, or get involved in social activities with their classmates. Not only is there safety in numbers, but having friends will build their self-esteem, which in turn can discourage bullies from targeting him or her. In addition, talk with your child about bullying. Tell them that if he or she is bullied or sees someone else being bullied, they should report the incident immediately to an adult, whether it’s you, a teacher, an administrator, counselor, or coach. Let them know that they are not expected to handle the situation alone.