But not every teen is Lindsay Lohan, and your child isn't guaranteed a happy ending.
Right now, I have the expert take on bullies and bullying from Dr. Richard Goldbloom and the Canadian version of Reader's Digest.
Parents, if you suspect a bully is picking on your child, make it easy for them to tell you by asking indirect questions about their day. Try, "How was lunch today?" or "What's new on the ride to school?" instead of asking outright about a bully.
Once your child describes the problem, you need to decide how to react. Above all, cautions Dr. Goldbloom, don't tell your child to fight back. That'll only increase their chances of having it happen over and over again.
If the matter is not serious enough to take up with teachers or other adults, help your child avoid situations that put them at risk. Plan a new route to school or have an older sibling accompany them on the playground. And if your child is approached by a bully, here's what they should do:
  • Stand straight and tall and look the bully square in the eye.
  • Be polite but firm. Tell the bully to stop. And if at all possible, don't cry or show they're upset. This only encourages bullies.
And finally, if your child is approached by a bully, they should report the incident to an adult they trust. And adults need to earn that trust by taking appropriate action.