Teaching kids to be nice without getting bullied


Is your kid naughty or nice?

Harvard psychologist Richard Weissbourd explains in today’s discussion how to help kids be kind without getting bullied.
Q. Personal Dilemma
How do you raise kind children who are also able to stand up for themselves against bullies?

A. Richard Weissbourd: I think parents should give kids a range of strategies for responding to bullies. Sometimes standing up to a bully can make a child the next target. So parents should help kids assess whether the best strategy is to stand up directly to the bully, or to tell a teacher and/or comfort the victim, or to rally other kids and collectively stop the bullying…

Q.
Other people’s children…
We are doing our best to raise a kind child. There are some children in the neighborhood who have treated her with a lot of unkindness. She is only 6 and so far seems to be taking things in stride. Do you have any advice on how to talk to her about the behavior of other children?

A. Richard Weissbourd: Great question. You may want to say something to her like “some children have struggles or problems that cause them to be hurtful.” It’s also important that she understand that their behavior is not okay and that you will work with her to find a way to protect her. If you think it can be constructive, I encourage you to talk to the parents of the kids who are unkind.

Read the entire chat here.

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Amy Joyce is the editor and a writer for On Parenting.
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Amy Joyce · July 23