How do you stop a bully?

by Amanda Lanum 

During a chat with Jim and Rusty from The Big 94.5 Country, they read an e-mail from a listener who was concerned that her eight-year-old son was being bullied just a few days into the school year. She said he normally loves school and now dreads going. She has talked with the school principal who said he would keep an eye on the situation, but she doesn't feel that's enough.

I'm not a parent, but I have such sympathy for kids who are bullied. My youngest sister is 11 years old and I know if something like this were happening to her my initial feeling is rage, to want to lecture the little bullies, and to put my sister into a little protective bubble where no one can harm or be mean to her.

Now... that's my initial reaction. Obviously a little overreaction.

I understand taunting is something kids do. I understand most of us may have experienced bullying - and have maybe been a bully - at some point in our childhood and I understand that, for many of us, we move on and grow into fine adults despite being picked on.

But when is it bad enough that you step in? If you do, what can you really do to keep your kid sheltered from bullying? Talk to the bully's parents? Talk to the school? And then, what do teachers and school officials do to respond? I'm interested in hearing your thoughts and what advice you'd give to the 94.5 Country listener who e-mailed her situation.

Btw, if you know someone who is being bullied, visit www.stopbullyingkansas.org.

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