Complement the Bully: Help your Child Overcome this Back to School Fear

School starts in just a week for many of us, and our families are gathering all the back to school stuff that entails.  Updated clothing in sizes that actually fit, new shoes (Hightops this year are apparently IN!) sharpened pencils and all the things.  Many children, particularly those starting kindergarten or first grade may be nervous about the unknown back to school stuff...and what about mean kids, bullies, or teachers who are not the one they hoped for?  Our family has ONE SECRET TIP any child can use on any bully any time.  Yes, I'm going to share it. It is a compliment.  

I shared the book "Have You Filled a Bucket Today?" in this NPR piece last Fall. Our Secret Tip comes after we read that sweet story through another time this afternoon.  We decided that if the girls had a bully say something unkind to them, they would reply with a compliment!   We decided to compliment the bully would throw that bully off balance, but also help them fill their bucket.  

We practiced complimenting the bully too! After all, back to school stuff isn't just shopping, but preparing to be the people we want to be in the world.  We took turns saying something mean to each other and while at first being intentionally mean was hard, it got all of us used to hearing mean worlds and in turn offering a positive compliment or statement back.

What tips do you have for dealing with back to school fears?  Have you or your child encountered a bully?  What did you do?

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