Mike Tully: “Support and Empower Your Bullied Child” book review

By Mike Tully

One of the most painful and challenging tasks parents face is figuring out what to do when their child is bullied at school. As many learn to their dismay, school authorities too often are no help at all. They may dismiss the bullying as “kids being kids,” or suggest your child was to blame. They might claim the behavior you’re concerned about does not match the statutory definition of bullying. All of those options amount to saying one thing: “I’m either unwilling or unable to effectively address this.”

On the other hand, school authorities sometimes address the behavior and inadvertently make things worse. They may focus on punishing the aggressive student but fail to help the student and parents modify the bullying behavior. And, if there is insufficient support and follow-up, the aggressive student – and his or her friends – may retaliate against your child.

Whatever the outcome, it’s likely that a school administrator will assure you that bullying is not tolerated in the school under any circumstances. “Conduct a search in ‘news’ with the phrase ‘our district has zero tolerance to bullying,'” writes noted author and bullying prevention expert Nancy Willard, “and you will see what I mean.”

Ms. Willard is a respected author, trainer and researcher who was describing how to recognize and address cyber-bullying when most of us didn’t even know what it was. She has written several books and articles and is widely respected among professional peers as a preeminent and influential expert. And she has just authored a book that every parent and guardian of children in school should include in his or her library.

Support and Empower Your Bullied Child, available in Kindle format at Amazon, is a short but powerful work that explains these critically important topics: what constitutes bullying behavior, what schools are doing wrong, what legal protections are available, how to approach school authorities to ensure they will effectively help your bullied child, how to resolve negative situations, how to empower your child and how to encourage your child to be a helpful ally to other students. While the book is well researched and footnoted, it is written in a friendly and supportive style that respects and reaches out to the reader. It is the most accessible book on bulling in school that I have read in many years.

Nancy Willard provides an invaluable service to parents of bullied students with this new work. If you or a loved one has children in school, her new book is an essential tool and a source of strength and support.



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