Son Is Being Bullied

Dear Sara,

I am pretty sure that my ten-year-old son is being bullied at school. He’s rather shy and doesn’t seem to make friends easily. He seems to prefer books and playing on the computer. He told me that several boys had harassed him by pushing him back and forth in the hall at school and calling him “stupid kid.” I don’t want to make things worse but I want these boys to stop making fun of my son. How should I handle this?

Dear Rebecca,

There should be zero tolerance for bullying in schools and forty-three states have laws to deal with this. Your first line of defense for your son is to let his principal, teacher and school counselor know what’s going on. He shouldn’t have to deal with this alone at school. Let his principal know who the bullies are, what’s happening and how it’s happening. Be assertive and let them know you expect it to stop and that there will be consequences for the bullies.

Being bullied can have long-lasting effects. Be supportive of your son and let him know that bullies tend to pick someone they perceive as weaker in some way than themselves. Your son could probably benefit from a self-defense class like tai-kwon-do to build his confidence and help him be more self-assured.
Good luck.

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