Bullying and teasing can be just as big a problem for girls as it can be for boys, and it can affect children of all ages, say the Peetes. They talk with Dr. Elvis Epps, the assistant principal of an elementary school in Florida, about his advice for dealing with bullying situations that parents often encounter.
Look for signs. If you daughter is acting reclusive and doesn't want to go to school, she may be afraid of a bully, Dr. Epps says.
Use your best judgment. Parents should assess whether the situation requires their intervention, Dr. Epps says. If your child has been physically injured, you should step in immediately, he says. If two girls have a verbal dispute, you may decide to let them work it out on their own, he says.
Deal with problems sooner rather than later. Call teachers or school administrators before a harmful situation can escalate, Dr. Epps says. "I like to put the fire out while it's a little flicker [rather] than let it get out of control," he says.
Take responsibility. If your daughter is the bully, Dr. Epps says you need to take measures to resolve the matter. Work alongside teachers and administrators, get counseling for your child if necessary and set a good example for her. "Create an atmosphere that is positive in your home," he says.
Printed from Oprah.com on Sunday, December 8, 2013