…being the target of bullying tears down self-confidence, undermines esteem and destroys the hope of escaping victim-hood. The recent remake of The Karate Kid demonstrates this quite powerfully. Many of the child clients in my practice have experienced bullying firsthand. It’s not a problem confined to the psychological torments of supervisors at a workplace or when driving home amidst defensive maneuvers to escape the tactics of someone in road rage mode.

Boys can be just as traumatized by bullying by girls in elementary school as by other boys. Some of the boys who participate in therapy begin tearing up when they recount stories of girls tormenting them and chasing them down on the playground. Most boys are taught never to fight back verbally or physically against a girl. As a result, often a boy feels he has no recourse when dealing with teaching staff but to accept what’s being “dished out”.

Girls often are miserable when bullied in subtle ways in elementary, middle and high schools.

Speak up when you see someone acting like a bully. Help your child question how authorities handle bullying. Seek information about the consequences of bullying and ways to handle it effectively. Some resources are the books: Our Last Best Shot, by Laura Sessions Step ; Just Kidding by Trudy Ludwig; Secrets of a Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman; Queen Bees and Wannabes, by Rosalind Wiseman; Odd Girl Out by Rachel Simmons; Bullying Prevention and Intervention by Swearer, Espelage and Napolitano; The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander: from

Preschool to High School by Barbara Coloroso; and the website Stop.