Bullies are everywhere, especially in school, so your child is not safe. It is your job as a parent to know when something is wrong and how you can protect your kids of all ages from these mean people. Bullying actually happens in several forms, be it physical, verbal, psychological and emotional, they all should be avoided.

1. Stop the bullying before it starts: Discuss with your child and let him or her know what bullying is all about and how best to react to it. By so doing, they are prepared for what is out there and will not be as affected as they would be if they were had no clue that it existed.

2. Create a list of responses: You can also practice how your child can respond. The responses should be straightforward and not antagonistic. Phrases like “Leave me alone.” and “Back off.” can work here. “Yeah, whatever,” is also very effective in most cases since the response should not be too aggressive to the point of aggravating the bully.

3. Develop positive body language: Your body language can make you look more confident than you actually are. Once your child can learn the art of positive body language, it will be hard for him or her to be picked on. How you look when you come in contact with a bully is more important than what you say.

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4. Communicate: Interact with your kids on a daily basis and know how they are faring in school. Ensure you always use a calm, soothing and welcoming tone so the kid never gets scared of telling you when something is wrong. Let your child know that his or her safety will always be a priority.

5. No tears: Tears dropping from the eyes of the bullied is the reward of a bully. He or she intended to hurt your feeling so you crying means the bully won. Tell your kids to never give this mean person the pleasure of watching them weep. For instance, if your child is called “Fat,” his or her response should be a calm “Well, the truth is that I could use daily workouts.” before walking away confidently.

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