How can you teach your child how to react to bullying?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,167
    Dr. Ted Feinberg of the National Association of School Psychologists provides tips for parents helping their child react to bullies.

    Ted Feinberg

    Dr. Feinberg has over 30 years of broad-based human services experience in the mental health field. He has extensive background in consultation and counseling with children, adolescents, adults and families. He has worked in both the public and private sectors. In August 2000, Dr. Feinberg assumed his current position as Assistant Executive Director for Professional Development for the National Association of School Psychologists. His new responsibilities include program development, oversight of advocacy, government and public relations, public policy initiatives, interagency networking as well as professional standards and ethics. Dr. Feinberg has also co-authored two chapters for a Best Practices book on crisis intervention in the schools, book chapters and numerous articles for the NASP Communiqué. Dr. Feinberg was one of the six members of the core workgroup who developed the nationally recognized PREPaRE crisis prevention and intervention training curriculum. Dr. Feinberg has been the Director of Albany Counseling and Crisis Intervention Services and the Senior School Psychologist for the North Colonie Schools near Albany, N.Y. He has been a member of the Graduate School faculties at Russell Sage College, University of New York at Albany, the University of Maryland and George Mason University. Dr. Feinberg completed his doctoral and postdoctoral training at the University of New York at Albany. In October 1995, the New York State Association of School Psychologists selected Dr. Feinberg as Practicioner of the Year. Dr. Feinberg completed his second trip to Panama where he assisted the United States Department of Defense with their reduction in force efforts. He was one of the founding members and Chairman for the NASP National Emergency Assistance team and has volunteered his time to do crisis intervention training and disaster mental health work for the American Red Cross and the National Organization for Victim Assistance. Dr. Feinberg was the team leader for NEAT/NOVA in Spotsylvania, Virginia where three adolescent girls from the community were abducted, molested and murdered. In April 1999, he was invited to Littleton, Colorado after the worst school shooting tragedy in US history to consult with school and community members impacted by the horrific event. Dr. Feinberg was the keynote speaker for the New York State Governors’ Conference on the Prevention of School Violence on March 5, 1999. He was also appointed to then Governor Pataki’s New York State Blue Ribbon Task Force on School Violence.

    Speaker: How can you teach your child how to react to bully?

    Dr. Ted Feinberg: Years ago, we tried to tell children that they should just ignore bully, walk away from the bully, or in some cases they should fight back. We have learned over many, many years of studying the problem and examining the research, but thats not an appropriate strategy to offer to children. If the children are bullied often times and again keep in the mind that bullying is imbalance of power and an intentional inflicting of hurt or harm to another individual, who is less capable of dealing with that situation. So, to ask a victim who is being bullied to fight the bully to show them they are frightened is really an invitation for them to get hurt even more severely.

    So, we want to have the opportunity to one identify who that is bullying individual is and have the opportunity to talk with their parents, to talk with that child, and to let them know that there are significant consequences for continuing this inappropriate behavior.

    If thats not done, its likely that the bullying behavior will continue or possibly escalate; in either case thats an unacceptable option for a child, who is being abused.