Kids will use anything that differs even slightly from their own experience as fodder for teasing their peers -- from whether they live in an apartment vs. a house, to how they look, dress, talk, and behave.
However, not all teasing is bullying. Some teasing really is rooted in ignorance, like when a Kindergartner says, "What? You don't have a dad?"
That kind of comment is rude, certainly. But it's not necessarily an example of true bullying; it's more like a comment that reveals a child's own (surprising) unfamiliarity with different types of families. Real bullying is an intentional, often repetitive, effort to intimidate another person.
To help your kids understand the difference, and in honor of National Bullying Prevention Month, I've put together a series of important bullying resources from Guides across the About.com Parenting Channel. Use these resources to talk with your children about their own experiences and role play constructive coping mechanisms as needed:
- Your Bulling Questions Answered
- The Skinny on Bullying
- Warning Signs That Your Child is Being Bullied
- Bullying Girl-Style
- Prevent Cyberbullying
- Could This Be Hazing?
- Free Bullying Class
- Help a Grandchild Overcome Bullying
- Bullying and Food Allergies
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