The Stereotypical Bully

Bluto is the most well-known stereotypical bully. He's big. He's dumb. He's violent. And he picks on Popeye, who is weaker and smaller. That is until Popeye downs some spinach and grows enough muscle to defeat the big brute. If it were actually that easy, kids could identify bullies simply by what they looked like and steer clear in the middle school hallways. Or they could down a leafy green vegetable and do a bit of pounding back themselves.

If only it were that easy. Trouble is; most bullies don't look a bit like Bluto, they look exactly like any other regular boy or girl. And there's no magic green vegetable powerful enough to give a non-agressive kid the strength to face up to the big, bad bully.

Today, thanks to a number of studies and books published on the topic of female aggression, the stereotypical bully myth has been officially debunked. The world now understands that bullies come in all shapes, sizes, and genders, and that girls can be as vicious and violent as boys; sometimes even more so. The intricacies of gender-specific bullying will be discussed in later chapters.

Alert!

Young children who have aggressive or hot-tempered personalities are more likely to grow into aggressive tweens and teens than those with calmer and more laid-back personalities. Fortunately, you can teach your child the skills she needs to remain in control of her shorter fuse.

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