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Having spent a significant portion of my childhood bullied, I can say that most of the advice given seems idealistic.

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There are advices, but it still feels like there is no real way to deal with bullying...

Seems like talking is important.

1) Open a dialogue.

The first thing that I think I would want as a parent is an understanding of the child's situation. Information can open your eyes to depths of the problem as well as make it obvious what actions need to be taken. You know that your child feels that they are being bullied. What is this bullying like? Perhaps it isn't as severe as you might have feared. Perhaps your child simply hasn't learned the appropriate thing to say or do in a certain social situation and is getting negative reenforcement for that behavior from his peers. That isn't bullying, but it still feels really bad. Those problems are normally easily corrected when an adult gives the child new options they haven't yet considered or independently invented to solve that social problem. Remember that all situations a child will face have happened before; the question is, do they have the experience to handle it in a productive way?

Mentoring children is a lost artform. We, at least we in America, have the false belief that children should learn everything "out in the real world". That may be how our parents raised us, but it may not be right. Speaking with your children in a setting about possible events that are bound to happen, before they happen lets them know what to prepare for. It lets them ask questions and allows you to impart wisdom before mistakes are made. Conveying new tactics to handle a particular situation will gift your child new routes to solve it when and if it comes.

When I was in grammar school, I was bullied by boys. One of them called me a chink in the lunch line, and I hit him over the head with a tray. I caught a suspension and he didn't -- largely because at that time Asians felt we should not stand up for ourselves against minor racial issues -- but bullying by boys stopped from that day on.

In middle and high school, I was bullied by girls. They were far more subtle, psychologically acute, and good at using your own insecurities against you. I have heard that bullied kids these days are actually using social media to "bully back" and keep these girls in check. It turns out that no teenager is immune from the idea that other kids are laughing at them behind their backs, even the popular ones!

Joyce, that's terrible.

There's really no good response to bullying. It's hard to teach yourself to ignore it.

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