In Bullying Experts, Guest Posts, Health Professionals

Dr Kate Writes:Ten Tips to help your Child Deal with Bullying

Ten Tips for Helping your child deal with bullies

Although bullying has existed for centuries, today it seems more prevalent than ever before. According to the latest data samples (2010) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 29 percent of children are bullied. This includes face-to-face bullying as well as cyber-bullying. Learn the top Tips to help your Child Deal with Bullying.

Bullying is defined as a form of intimidation or an attempt to have power over someone who is perceived as weaker-than.    There are two types of bullying. Physical aggression or intimidation occurs in face-to-face bullying and is stereotypically between males. This type of bullying includes name-calling, teasing, consistent shoving, poking, posturing, and cutting off in lines at school. Social-emotional bullying involves the use of more covert emotional methods to bully another who is seen as weaker and is most often employed by females.

Bullying prevention must occur at a societal level with consistent involvement by policymakers, school administrators, and all adults, click here for link.

It is also essential to work with the victims by encouraging them to speak out when they are being bullied. One important aspect is to help the victim develop his sense of self, specifically focusing on building confidence.

Here are some Tips to help your Child Deal with Bullying:

  • Tips to help your Child Deal with Bullying: Promote communication. Encourage your child to speak up when he is being bullied. Routinely ask him if anyone is bothering him and take notice of his peer interactions. This includes frenemies; friends that sometimes act like a bully, especially when they do not get their own way in the friendship, click here for link.
  • Tips to help your Child Deal with Bullying: Practice confidence. Non-verbal communication speaks volumes. Have your son practice holding their head high, standing straight up, looking the bully in the eye, and being able to walk around the bully, nodding at him and not avoiding him.  Avoidance, cowering, and quivering all indicate fear and bullies love this in their targets. Part of practicing involves role-playing in which parents play the bully while the child uses the non-verbal techniques mentioned. Believe it or not, with practice you can make headway here. This involves retraining the brain to react differently than the default fear response.
  • Tips to help your Child Deal with Bullying: Speak up and speak out. If the bully follows your child, confronts him, or pokes him, coach your child to say with a firm voice “STOP!” or “KNOCK IT OFF!” This demonstrates that he is able to defend himself against the behavior he does not like and inform others without being a direct tattletale. Find opportunities in your home or with friends to have your child practice these skills in real life.
  • Tips to help your Child Deal with Bullying : Use technology to help practice sessions. There’s a difference between commanding the word “STOP!” and whining or pleading. Practice using your child’s recorded voice so he can hear the strength of it and get used to using it. You can also record  the role-play simulations on video so your child can view his posture and positive stance.
  • Tips to help your Child Deal with Bullying: Educate your child on name-calling. Name-calling is not something that needs to devastate him or make him afraid. Name-calling is just a way for the bully to intimidate and show power. It’s nothing to be afraid of and it shouldn’t shake their confidence.
  • Tips to help your Child Deal with Bullying: Get rid of old negativity. As part of developing a new persona, have your child rid himself of old negativity and gain a sense of power and control. Have him write the names of the children who have bullied him and together flush them down the toilet or burn them in a fire.
  • Tips to help your Child Deal with Bullying: Encourage your child to walk in groups of peers. Bullies are less likely to confront a potential victim in a group setting. It’s helpful for your child to be with others and not necessarily just close friends. Whenever possible educate your child’s peers and friends about how to handle a bully situation, even if they’re not the target.
  • Tips to help your Child Deal with Bullying: Always inform the school of the bullying. Talk to the school staff about your child’s fears and his desire to display a more assertive and confident posture in response to the bully and ask the staff for ways they can support him. For example, ask if he can be with a friend at all times during the start of the school year, so that his new responses can be delivered with a supportive friend nearby.
  • Tips to help your Child Deal with Bullying: Educate your child about the bullies. Bullies act like bullies because they’re helpless and powerless in their own lives. Framing a bully as someone who is desperately trying to gain power by picking on others should make it easier for your child to not be intimidated.

Watch for cyber-bullying. Cyber-bullying is on with rise with teens’ increasing use of technology via social media sites and apps. Specific tools for addressing cyber-bullying will be discussed in an upcoming column.

Who is Dr Kate Roberts?

Dr Kate Roberts

Being a parent is hard work, now add in Facebook posts, tweets, Instagram pics and Youtube video and it just got a whole lot harder. Not to mention the highly celebrity driven world we live in, it can be taxing keeping up with the latest reality star and idols who get themselves into precarious situations for your child’s eyes to easily see. “In this fast paced society parents need, in the moment, practical strategies they can rely on,” says Dr. Roberts, “I teach parents cognitive-behavioral tools to help them quickly  resolve family issues, without conflict and with confidence”.

For more than twenty five years Dr. Kate Roberts has helped children and families navigate through the ever evolving world of relationships. As a licensed psychologist, family therapist and couples counselor, and wife and mother of two, Dr. Kate offers a unique and highly qualified perspective in her practice, in the media and in her  Savvy Parenting  blog on Psychology Today. 

 Dr. Kate has done more than sixty interviews on television, newspapers, and online and traditional magazines. Most recently Time Magazine, Parenting magazine, Scholastic Magazine, Parents Magazine, Boston Metro, Working Mother magazine and Disney In addition to all of this Dr. Kate is published in a number of articles in professional journals and writes the bi-weekly parenting column Dr. Kate’s Parent Rap in the Salem News. 

Dr. Kate welcomes questions from reporters and writers and has been interviewed on a wide variety of family and parenting topics, from the Boston bombings, to Columbine shootings, bullying and children addicted gaming

 Dr. Kate completed her undergraduate degree in psychology from Boston University and her doctorate in clinical psychology from University of Rhode Island. She completed her pre and post doctoral training at Brown University and Butler and Bradley Hospitals. 

 Dr. Kate has worked as a consulting psychologist to school districts throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts. She held a faculty position at the Brown University Medical School, Department of Psychiatry as a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry. Currently Dr. Kate works full time coaching children and families in her private practice outside of Boston and through institutions such as Massachusetts General Hospital.

If you are interested in interviewing Dr. Kate for a news piece, article or blog please contact Dr. Kate Roberts at 978-884-1213. She is also available to write or blog as an expert on appropriate web sites. For more information on Dr. Kate check out her website at

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