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How to BullyPROOF Your Child

Classroom Confidential

Kudos to the Ceeb. All week long, just as Ontario considers passing anti-bullying legislation, the show Connect with Mark Kelley is dishing all things bully and bullying. 

Earlier this year, a speaker's corner was set up in a Gatineau, Quebec school. Over the course of a week, more than 150 students spilled their hearts out on the subject. The testimonies in #bullyPROOF are both illuminating and raw. Watch and learn and share.

So the million-dollar question: what's the best way to react to bullying? According to a 2007 study by York University psychology professor, Debra Pepler, the majority of kids do nothing. And boys and girls handle it differently. While females were most likely to ask for help, males tried humour, physical aggression, even revenge.

So much for sticks and stones? Pepler, co-director of the national anti-bullying organization PREVNet, says to avoid emotional responses, which only exacerbates the bullying. A rational response tends to 'de-escalate' the provocation.

"The children who can stand up and be assertive are able to control themselves, and they have a bit more ability to cope," says Pepler. "Unless adults support children and youth, students are likely to do nothing and gain a sense of helplessness."

If you missed the first few shows, don't despair. On Thursday, May 31: A look inside the bully's mind, and on Friday, June 1: Everyone seems to have an answer to the problem — so why haven’t we found a solution?

The week-long special concludes with the one-hour documentary, Classroom Confidential, which airs Saturday, June 2 on CBC News Network and on Sunday, June 3 on CBC TV at 7 pm ET.
Has the face of bullying changed? Is it more insidious than it was when you were growing up? A rite of passage of the What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger variety, or a Scarred For Life experience?