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Mean Girls Bullied Demi Lovato

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Here's how to make sure your kids don't share the same fate.

Demi Lovato

Teen queen Demi Lovato seems to have it all: A starring role next to Joe Jonas in "Camp Rock," an upcoming Disney TV show ("Sonny With a Chance"), a hit CD, and a million-dollar smile. But she told Entertainment Weekly that life was anything but perfect back in school in Texas. ''I asked to leave public school,'' she says. ''I was kind of bullied. I had a hate wall in the bathroom, and everyone signed a petition that said 'We all hate Demi Lovato.'''

If someone as seemingly perfect as Demi Lovato can be bullied, what hope do our kids have? Momlogic asked Ross Ellis, founder and chief executive officer of Love Our Children USA, the national nonprofit leader on child violence prevention, for tips on protecting our children.

Kindness starts at home: "The reality is, any kid can become a bully or be victimized themselves, so it's crucial to take preventative measures now," says Ellis. "Bullying is a learned behavior. So when kids see you criticize others ("Can you believe what Jill was wearing?"), they mimic your actions out in the world. What's more, insecurity usually triggers a bully's behavior. So raising confident and empathetic children will have a two-fold effect: Not only will your kids have positive self-esteem, but they'll be more likely to stand up for other kids who are being harassed."

Develop a buddy system: "It's a fact that bullies rarely strike groups -- they just don't have the guts," says Ellis. "If your child is being harassed, make sure he or she walks around school with a friend, or is within earshot of a teacher." If someone does start bullying your kid, have them look the bully in the eye and say, "I don't like your teasing. Stop it right now." Then they should walk away and report the incident. If the bully pushes, teach your kid not to hit back. "Bullies want a reaction, so if the victim reciprocates, the problem will worsen," says Ross.

Take action: "As tempting as it is to sit down with the troublemaker's parents, don't," says Ellis. "Most parents are defensive toward criticism of their child or are in denial there's even a problem." A better idea: Go to the school directly, and record every incident of harassment. Then ask your school to develop an anti-bullying program and form a watchdog group with other parents. "The sad truth is most prevention lies with parents, because most schools just don't take bullying seriously enough."

Is your child being bullied? Click here for The Bullying Prevention School of Rights.

next: Men Aren't Smart with Money
81 comments so far | Post a comment now
Demismyhero October 4, 2008, 9:47 PM

OMG if I ever see that hapening then i get so mad. I stand up for the underdog. I am having the same prob but not w/ girls but w/ a boy. He is so mean and says i am mean bc i love animals. I hope the girls that did that to Demi see her now.And go to confession. I LOVE DEMI!!!!!!!!

kayla October 5, 2008, 3:16 PM

what do u think the wall said about her?

sarah  October 5, 2008, 5:49 PM

those girls are mean ps. your soooooooooo cool Demi

Anonymous October 5, 2008, 7:57 PM

I think your great and my bigest dream is to become a star, with you and the Jonas brother’s so I really really hope it comes true.

ebba October 6, 2008, 3:13 PM

hi i am a great fan and i just love you!

hey whats up  October 7, 2008, 3:03 PM

hey joe jonas needs to date demi because they make such a cute couple.

demilovatofan October 10, 2008, 2:17 PM

demi we love you

natalie October 26, 2008, 10:18 AM

poor demi!!! i bet those people are regretting what they did!!

paypay October 27, 2008, 4:12 PM

i feel so bad for demi

Jorbidok November 1, 2008, 3:02 PM

interesting, i’ll be back later

peter November 5, 2008, 5:32 AM

I was bullied at school kicked punched and spat upon I was on the same boat as demi

peter November 5, 2008, 5:41 AM

demi is so nice looking there is no mean bone in her body. like the old saying nothing to do all day but all day to do it in

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