The Strategy: If your child's upset about it, you should be too.
Why It Works: Whether it's your preschooler lamenting about a playground slight or a tween coming home with a black eye, if your child's coming to you, he's feeling the pain. "At an early age, kids tell us when they're being bullied," says Michele Borba, Ed.D., iVillage parenting expert and author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions. "But if parents say it's no big deal, kids won't come tell us again." That's a huge mistake, since bullying can have tragic consequences. "Bullying is far more intense than it used to be: Our culture is crueler, allowing kids to be meaner and get away with it, and many kids don't have the assertive skills to deal with it."
How to Do It Right: Pay attention to even the smallest slights your child mentions -- and try to problem-solve ways your child can deal with them. "Bullying is almost always repeated," Borba says. "If you don't stop it at the beginning, it'll weave its way up into something more serious."
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