How to "Bullyproof" Your Kids According to Experts

May 23, 2019

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Want to "bullyproof" your kids? Teach them not to act offended by bullies. In The New York Times, mom and writer Estelle Erasmus says that's the advice she gleaned from Izzy Kalman, author of Bullies to Buddies: How to Turn Your Enemies Into Friends. "His concept of the golden rule is to treat the person insulting you as a friend rather than an enemy, and not to get defensive or upset," she writes about Kalman. She then taught her daughter about bullies, “If they say they don’t want to play with you, say very politely, ‘It’s a free country. It’s okay if you don’t want to play with me.’ Then find something else to do.” Erasmus adds, "The next time someone tried to shun her, she didn’t act offended, and the other children saw her as less of a target and moved on. Eventually, the friendships resumed with minimal emotional collateral damage." Meanwhile, Kalman adds that this method empowers kids to solve problems for themselves. "Nobody can guarantee their children a life without difficulties," he explains. "If you protect your children from the social challenges of life, it weakens them."