Home > Kids > Behavior and Discipline > Dealing With Bullies > Bullied Son Is Big for His Age
|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Bullied Son Is Big for His Age

Family Safety Expert Advice from Gavin de Becker

Q: My son just turned 4, but he's very tall for his age (he's four feet and weighs 56 pounds). The problem is that, because of his size, older kids often think that he's mentally retarded or just plain dumb. They pick on him and sometimes hit him. My son never defends himself; he doesn't even tell anyone.

A: Life is full of bullies but we don't manage bullies by letting them victimize others. Ideally, we protect the vulnerable and give consequences to aggressors.

If you were being threatened or hit, you wouldn't expect people to ignore it, or to gather round in a circle and cheer. You'd demand protection.

As your son gets older, the value of feeling protected will be even more important, because the stakes go up each year. He'll probably be more likely to tell you what's going on if he sees that telling brings him benefits, and not embarrassment.

Consider speaking with the parents of the other kids, or if you observe the conduct, confront the kids themselves. Do whatever it takes. We shouldn't tolerate destructive behavior directed against a small child that we'd never tolerate against an adult. I'm not saying it's easy, but your son will be happier now and in the future if he believes the world is safe and he feels protected.

More on: Expert Advice

Gavin de Becker is widely regarded as the leading U.S. expert on the prediction and management of violence. His work has earned him three Presidential appointments and a position on a congressional committee. He is currently co-chair of the Domestic Violence Council Advisory Board, and a Senior Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Policy.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

highlights

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

8 Products to Help Your Family Go Plastic-Free
How can you minimize your family's exposure to harmful chemicals and lessen your impact on the environment? Try swapping out some of your everyday plastic products with these non-plastic alternatives.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks