Question from Sharie:

My 7 yr old son is coming home and saying that “no one will play with him” and “He doesn't have any friends.” I feel horrible watching him hang his head and feeling sad as soon as he gets off the bus. He says the kids in his class don't let him sit near them, they yell at him, call him names and he spends recreation time alone. I want to just go to the school and start yelling at the teacher and principal. If they can't help I want to take names and call parents myself! Rich, what do I do?

Well first I'm gonna ask you to supress the need to punch things, then soften your voice, be fake sickening sweet and call the school. Ask to speak with the principal. When he call's you back explain "how disappointed you are that the children have done these things in Mr/Mrs. Teacher's class and was wondering if there was anything that he could do to rectify the situation. Wait for his response. If it's seems rational and he sounds as though he wants to help let him.

Now with yer boy! I want you to tell him that "he won't understand why right now, but you want him to shrug his shoulders and say whatever." anytime one of his peers says something awful and walk away from the scenario. Having your son be passive in this situation may take longer to release a bullies hold on your sons self esteem. However, you won't have to keep coming in for parent teacher conferences over your kid fighting with peers. A verbal "stand up for yourself" often leads a bully to throw punches.

There could be a number of reasons a child bullies yours. Home life may be precarious, the bully might be being brought up violent or he/she may just be an evil little kid. Your best bet is to keep in contact with the school officials, everyday if necessary to get the situation rectified. If you call and meet with the school enough, even if it's annoying them, they will take action. The goal here is not to "fix" your child and make him stand up for himself. It's to get the teacher to pay closer attention, locate and identify the bullies and take action with them and their parents. Good luck! Give that boy a hug, or twenty!