Q: My 7-year- old daughter dreads her daily school-bus ride. She says the older girls on the bus tease the younger girls. Do I need to talk to the school, or should I teach my daughter how to deal with “mean girls” on her own?
A: You want your daughter to know that she can – and should – stand up for herself, and that she has a voice. Role-play with her and help her come up with a quick comeback she is comfortable saying (e.g. “I don’t think so!” or “That’s not cool!”). Get her to practise the comeback in a strong voice, along with body language that shows she’s serious (eye contact, back tall). The next time it happens, she should use her comeback, and then report the mean behaviour to the bus driver and her teacher.