Readers shared their tips at ChicagoParent.com about how they help their children deal with bullies. Only their initials were used to protect their kids:
"To help my children deal with bullying in school I have taught them that bullying is wrong, no matter how old you are. I always tell my children to let their teacher know immediately. If they are not comfortable with talking to their teacher, I tell them to talk to me and I will then talk to the teacher. Bullying is not tolerable under any circumstances."
"I have an 11-year-old that was getting bullied last school year. It was hard for me to see her cry so I had to come up with a way for her to handle the situation. I told my daughter to walk over to the girl and ask her if she wanted to come to our house for cookies and water games. The girl didn’t immediately respond but the next day she didn’t bother her. The day after that the girl came over to my daughter to ask if she thought it was OK if she stayed the night. They didn’t become best friends but she was able to handle the issue herself by making a friend instead of an enemy."
"My (children) attend a school that takes this seriously and teaches kids how to peacefully and thoughtfully resolve conflict. The teachers model ‘talking it through,’ not excluding others, gathering in groups to talk things out (led by a teacher) and coming to check in with a parent or teacher if children can’t talk things out or if they feel they are in danger or someone else is in danger. My kids know what we value and won’t tolerate bullying, by them or if someone does it to them."
"Even in kindergarten, children can be mean and hurtful. I tell my son to walk away from any type of bullying (i.e. name calling, punching, kicking). I tell him not to "strike" back, but to go straight to his teacher or available adult."