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Gov. Christie Gives Advice on Bullying

Governor Chris Christie, the tough-minded, tough-talking governor of New Jersey, was asked by a child for advice on how to deal with an adult bully while speaking at a town hall event. Gov. Christie advised the child to tell his parents and then go to the authority at school and  "Lay out your case". The governor stated, "There are no excuses for adults to be bullying children."

Whether or not you agree or disagree with Gov. Christie's politics or communication style, in this particular instance he is right on the money.

I would hope it goes without saying that no adult should bully a child, so we don't need to belabor that point; what is important is that any child feels confident enough to not only know the difference between right and wrong, but confident enough to stand up for himself, go to his parents and report the problem. As parents, then it is our job to take the ball and run with it to the next level.

But, what happens when you go to the "authority figures" and they do nothing? What happens if they say, "Kids are just mean sometimes; they tease, it's no big deal…"

As a parent, it is "Sherman's March to the Sea" time.

Like it or not, in today's day and age, people mistake kindness for weakness. In a situation like bullying (which, no matter how small the incidence, is important to address properly) you cannot afford to be considered "nice" or "weak". You want to be polite but firm; you must go into the meeting with the attitude "I am not leaving this meeting without getting this problem acknowledged, addressed and solved by all parties involved." If you have any physical evidence you have documented, bring it. Get the bully, other set of parents or whomever else is involved in the meeting, too. Everyone has to be there, eyeball to eyeball and knee-to-knee so you can get things done.

Some people wonder if attorneys should get involved when it comes to bullying. That is a judgment call; I personally can't stand it when people run to their attorneys instead of picking up the phone and trying to solve problems themselves, but that is me. I also recognize that there are certain situations that you would be crazy NOT to have an attorney. The call as to whether or not you get an attorney involved is up to you.

What is most important is you do not blow off the bullying or blow off facing the uncomfortable situation of addressing the bullying with the parties involved. Like the old saying goes, "We don't have to like it – we just have to do it."

Stay strong,


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