Do I talk to the parents of the child bullying my child?

Joel Haber, PhD, answers the question of whether it is appropriate for parents to talk to the parents of their child's bully and when it is best to do so.
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Do I talk to the parents of the child bullying my child?

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In any bullying situation, if you have 2 kids together at your house or you hear about a bullying situation, the question parents always wrestle with is do I call the other parent? It's a very risky question, and it's not a simple answer, but I'll try to answer it. In younger kids, it may be appropriate to let a parent know during a play date that there's an issue, because it's still the time when kids are forming relationships and parents are more apt to hear, because they don't expect their kids to have all these skills. But kids who are 7-8 and beyond may be really upset number one that you may want to call a parent because they don't want to be more humiliated. And here's the risk. If you call a parent who you're not very friendly with or you don't know extremely well, the risk is that parent will tell their child, and that child will get so upset that they're going to bully your child further after that situation happens. So unless you are very close to a parent and understand them and have a relationship that you can trust and can say to them, "listen, our kids got into this issue. Can you find out what happened? I've been hearing things. I'll get with mine and check it out." Unless you know you can get together with a parent and do that, I suggest not to call another parent, because you're putting your kid at further risk potentially.

Joel Haber, PhD, answers the question of whether it is appropriate for parents to talk to the parents of their child's bully and when it is best to do so.

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Joel Haber, PhD

Psychologist, Bullying & Parenting Expert, Author

Dr. Joel Haber is a Clinical Psychologist and internationally recognized bully prevention and parenting expert. He was selected as a webinar leader and a speaker for the Obama Administration Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention initiative.  He was also an invited participant to the Second Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit in 2011. His recent book, Bullyproof Your Child for Life: Protect Your Child from Teasing, Taunting and Bullying for Good set the bullying standard for schools, camps, sports, organizations and families dealing with bully prevention and intervention. He recently published The Resilience Formula: A Guide to Proactive, Not Reactive Parenting.  He is a consultant and expert to the American Camp Association, and to LG Electronics as a member of (LGTextEd.com), providing cyberbullying and mobile harassment expertise to parents and families. He is an advisor to Cartoon Network’s anti-bully campaign: Stop Bullying: Speak Up.  He is an expert for No Snap Judgments: The Addams Family Broadway Show- National Campaign to promote acceptance and tolerance amongst our youth. He is also co-founder of Tool Kits for Kids (toolkitsforkids.com), recipient of five national parenting awards for helping parents and kids develop the tools and emotional life skills to overcome worry, build confidence and develop resilience. He has written and published extensively, speaking each year to thousands of parents and educators to help make children’s lives, safer and better. 

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