Answers to Questions About Bullying

ABCNEWS.com asked readers to submit their questions about bullying to Rosalind Wiseman, educator and author of "Mean Girls."

Your questions, and her answers, are posted below.

Hi! My daughter first became friends with "the bully" a few years ago. We live in the same neighborhood, and at that time the girls attended the same school. The bully was in a grade ahead of my daughter. They were close friends who played almost daily. Soon after they became friends I noticed a lot of jealousy from the bully. She did not want my daughter to have any other friends but her.

She would tell lies to the other girls in the neighborhood and at school in an attempt to make the other girls not like my daughter. And when the other girls were around she would make fun of and be mean to my daughter and then later tell my daughter that the girls made her say and do the things she did. I have put an end to the friendship, and since then the bully has threatened my daughter physically and it's like she is so obsessed with trying to get every friend my daughter has and trying to hurt my daughter in any way she can.

Fortunately, they do not go to the same school anymore, but they do attend the same dance class. She is constantly and secretively doing things in dance class to hurt my daughter, verbally. I've told the teacher, who watches the girls and tries to make sure the bully is not getting away with this. This bully is 10 and my daughter is 8. She has a reputation in the neighborhood as rude and the "mean child" of the neighborhood.

Her parents, whom I tried to talk to because we were once friends, ignore everything their child does. When I was friends with them she would treat her parents rudely and disrespect them on a daily basis. I am concerned, because even though their friendship is ended, she is still just as obsessed with hurting my daughter or trying to ruin things for her. I told my daughter just to ignore her, which she has done a good job at doing. I just didn't know if there were any other suggestions you could give me. Thanks so much. — Nancy

ANSWER: Thanks for writing, and you're doing a lot of good things here, like enlisting the support of other adults who can make sure your daughter is safe.

That said, when you have a situation where there is a pattern of behavior where the bully is continuing the behavior, I would at least practice with your daughter what she can say to the bully to stand her ground. What your daughter should do is say, in her own words, what the bully is doing that she doesn't like, what she wants the bully to do, and end by saying something about that she has the right to be in the dance class without being bullied. But it needs to be in her own words. Even if she doesn't face the bully the next time the girl is mean to her, your daughter is that much more prepared to stand up for herself the next time. The goal here is to help your daughter get used to standing up to people who are treating her disrespectfully — a life- long skill.

Hi, My daughter is 13 and has ADHD/bipolar. She is in a special class for students with 'special needs" one period of the day, and in regular ed classes the rest of the day. She often comes home and says that this kid or that has called her a monster, or good for nothing, that she is stupid because she is in "redirect" and kids like that should not have any friends.

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