Dear Mr. Dad: I’ve suspected for a while that my twelve-year-old son is being bullied at school. I finally managed to get it out of him at bedtime one night. He doesn’t seem to be in real danger—it’s mostly petty harassment—but I remember being terrorized by exactly that at his age, and I just don’t want him going through it. What can I do?
A: Few things are as difficult and painful for a parent as seeing your child made miserable by a bully. It’s especially hard for dads, who feel helpless because they can’t adequately protect their child from harm. Being bullied can affect almost everything in your child’s life, from his personal confidence to his attitude toward school. And “petty harassment” over a long period can be every bit as scarring as physical abuse.