By Micaela Presti A child is not born a bully. It is a learned behavior and adults need to make sure they are role modeling for the children of our communities the importance of respect, tolerance and empathy. In the book, Nurture Shock by Po Bronson and Ashlee Merriman, there is a chapter on race and tolerance. The authors point out that white parents, in particular, feel that because their child may live in a community that is racially diverse, their children accept the differences. Parents then don’t feel they need to talk about differences. Nothing could be further from the truth. We need to talk about differences because children do notice that someone’s skin, sexual preference, etc. is different from theirs and they need to understand why.
Dealing with bullying is a delicate and complex procedure. The Not In Our School (NIOS) Parent Guide for Preventing and Addressing Bullying and Intolerance highlights what you—as a parent—should do when your child is a victim of bullying. Acting rashly or not acting at all will do nothing to help your child, and this guide gives concrete and specific ideas on the best way to approach a very sensitive situation.