Handling Meanies

Michele Borba, EdD, an internationally renowned educator and award-winning author, is recognized for her practical, solution-based parenting strategies to strengthen child's behavior, self-esteem, and moral development. Recently, she appeared on Parents.com Community boards to offer insight on how to help your children handle mean kids. Here is her advice.

Comeback Strategies

Michele Borba

While we can't stop kids from saying nasty stuff to our children, we can do things to reduce the chances our sons and daughters will be targeted. The most important thing you can do is teach your child how to respond in a way that discourages future teasing. With the large number of mean-spirited kids these days (kids who seem to get a charge from picking on their so-called friends), learning those comeback strategies can be an essential part of every child's friendship aptitude arsenal.

Here are some of the most effective comeback strategies that kids tell me have worked for them. Your job is to share these strategies with your child, and then have her choose the one she feels most comfortable with. Remember, what works for one child won't necessary be the best choice for another.

Once your child chooses a comeback strategy, you need to teach her how to deliver it effectively. Finally, help your child practice it again and again until your little one feels comfortable using it in the real kid world.

Here are a few strategies I have in my book, Nobody Likes Me, Everybody Hates Me: The Top 25 Friendship Problems and How to Stop Them. I hope they help.

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