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The Rules of Parenting, 2nd Edition by Richard Templar

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RULE 71

Bullying is always serious

I know a child called Ned who hates his name because it rhymes with too many things and his classmates have, obviously, spotted this, ‘Ned, Ned, wets the bed’ being one of their favourite chants.* Now, on one (rather pathetic) level that’s quite funny of course, but Ned doesn’t think so.

It’s very easy for parents to brush this sort of thing off. They tell their child, ‘Sticks and stones can break your bones but words can never hurt you.’ Rules parents, of course, know better than that. Of course a little gentle teasing is preferable to being beaten up daily for your lunch money (which is the level of aggression we’ll look at in the next Rule). But not all verbal taunts come under the category of gentle teasing. ...

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