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Parents Given Help on Bullying

Marji Lipshez-Shapiro of the Anti-Defamation League gave parents strategies their children can use against bullies Tuesday night at the Wilton Library . The education director in the ADL's Connecticut Regional Office said bullying is "impacting kids every day in school."

Shapiro said she's learned from parents at similar events that they want to know the best way to help their children when they're being abused by peers. She said there is no one strategy that works because each child is unique. She added, though, that parents need to be observant.

"Listen, listen, listen, and try not to react right away," Shapiro said referring to parent's natural instinct to be protective.

She continued to say that though it is difficult for parents, patience will work better in the long run because overreacting embarrasses the child and makes him or her hesitant to ask for help in the future. She added that parents need to make sure their kids take action to put an end to the harassment.

Shapiro also addressed the problem of kids picking on others kids through social media like Facebook and by text messaging. She said parents need to know what their child is doing, which is not easy with constantly changing trends.

In addition to talking with parents, Shapiro visits high schools with her program "Names Can Really Hurt Us." She has students share insults they have received and gets them to work together to end intimidation and threats. She brought the program to Wilton High School in 2004.

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