Answers to Questions About Bullying

2. Because she was teased for something related to school and her education, you should set up a meeting with the teacher where your daughter can explain what happened, how she feels, and what she wants (all of which she will have prepared by doing step one). Tell your daughter that she should speak first but if she gets overwhelmed, she can ask you to help her. You can even have a code word that she can say that means you can step in. Make sure to ask the teacher what the plan is if the boy goes after her again. The best would be that your daughter and the teacher would decide something together.

3. Then debrief with your daughter after the meeting. What she learned, how she felt about it, etc.

4. Follow up with an e-mail to the teacher thanking that person for the meeting and your understanding of what was discussed.

5. Tell her you are very proud of each one of those steps she did and if the problem continues, reiterate how important it is to come to you or another trusted adult.

Hello Ms. Wiseman, As a young girl in elementary school, I was bullied by another girl. It was actually one girl who would bully me and a group of my friends. One week she would turn one of the girls against the rest of us. Even though we were somewhat friends she bossed us around and made us go against each other.

I was wondering if this event in my life could have affected me as a person now in my 20s. Does bullying affect a person long after the incident itself? Thank you. — Azza

ANSWER: It is absolutely true that your experiences as a child with bullying can impact your adult life. From not being able to build and maintain strong friendships with other women, to not being able to stand up for yourself when someone is bullying you at work, to bullying yourself, all of these things are possible.

But the good thing about being an adult, however, is that you have more freedom and wisdom to change your life and the relationships within it for the better. In fact, I think that's really what being an adult is all about — no matter how old you actually are.

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