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Sweet Daughter Always Bullied

answered 08:12 PM EST, Sun April 28, 2013
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anonymous anonymous
My daughter has a problem with other kids picking on her. She is very sensitive and cries easily. She just always seems to be the kid in the class that gets bullied and picked on. We have moved three times in the past 6 years so it’s always new kids and a new class but the same old problems. She is in a small and pretty well controlled private middle school right now but next year she’ll be joining the local high school, which has almost 3000 students and has a rough element to it. I am very worried about how she will handle this transition. I wish the world were a nicer place but for now I want to change what I can change, and that is maybe my daughter’s behavior. She is a late bloomer and she is not interested in clothes or boys and this makes it hard for her to relate with the other girls, who all seem to be boy crazy and obsessed with their looks. How can I ‘toughen her up’ so she won’t have such problems getting picked on without harming her self esteem or messing with her sweet natured personality?

David Johnson Says...

Your daughter is very lucky to have an attentive and caring parent. You have been available and attentive, but it's clear it is time to signal a change in approach.
Encourage her to talk about her experiences with bullying, get the history and the details including and most importantly how she feels about it. Listen and tell her you understand and can feel her pain. Don't offer suggestions this time. Likely you've been doing this all along and it has not provided a solution. This is not because your suggestions haven't been helpful. Listening carries a different and important message. It validates her feelings and the importance of the issue. It also signals your change in approach.
Bullying is everywhere, and has been around as long as there were schools. At some point however, schools and teachers stopped intervening in bullying. It would appear that now schools are changing their approach and getting back involved. Go in with your daughter and meet with an administrator. Talk frankly about whats been happening and consider what the administrator suggests. Coach your daughter to implement some of the ideas that came out of the meeting.
Then get your daughter into counseling. Its likely her self-esteem is already an issue and she needs help to cope. Periodically, asked to be included in the session to get an update on the progress.

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Page last updated May 04, 2013

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