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answered 08:24 PM EST, Tue November 08, 2011
My sister’s adopted son just started at a new school. He switched in the middle of the year because he was having some problems in his old school and they weren’t really able to help him academically. He is a little bit delayed and very small for his age and he has already been held back one year so he is the oldest but the smallest kid in his class. This new school is probably a better fit for him and they have the resources to help him along.

Unfortunately, he is having some problems now with bullies teasing him quite a lot. He is really a sweet and likeable kid so although he was never very good in the classroom at his old school, he never had a problem with making friends and playing with other kids on the playground – so this is a new thing for him, and it’s hard because it’s the last thing he needs with all the other challenges facing him.

My sister is kind of old school and her solution to this problem is to send the boy’s older brother to school with him one morning so he can have a threatening talk with the kids who are bullying. I am not sure this is a good plan but she says that he is just too small to stand up for himself to these bigger kids and that the only way a bully will stop is if someone stands up to them on what they are doing. Is she right? It all seems very backward and non PC but maybe she is right and maybe the threat of a punching from big brother is what is needed to get these kids to back off so he can have a chance at this new school. I am worried that big brother is going to end up in trouble and it’s not going to do anything good.

Kelly Miller Says...

Kelly Miller K. Miller

This is a tough situation. One of the hardest decisions for a parent is trying to figure out how to protect a child. If the older brother goes and talks to them and then ends up in a fight himself then it has only increased the possibility of him getting in trouble and has taught those that are bullying that it is the way to handle situations so they keep on bullying.

It is also not a good idea for this young man to get hurt by the bullies. There are other ways in which to handle these type of kids. I don't know if she has talked to the principal of the school or the school counselor but one of the best ways for this to be handled is for this young man to learn how to walk away and take what they are saying as how they are viewing themself. Bullying is never about who they are bullying it is about how they feel about themself. Generally they have experienced this same treatment somewhere in their life.

If it is just words and he can walk away from it that is best, if it becomes physical an authority should be the one to get involved and not another child.

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Page last updated Nov 08, 2011