As a formerly fat kid (as in, formerly a kid, but still fat), I have a less-than-friendly take on dealing with bullies. I realize sometimes this doesn’t make me the best mother. Take this conversation for example:
O: [tells the story of a boy saying a marginally mean remark to her] I don’t know why he said that.
Me: What a little jerk.
Me: [realizing that wasn’t an acceptable answer] Kids can be mean sometimes, but try not to let it bother you. None of is it true and they are just trying to get a reaction out of you.
O: Yeah, [last year’s teacher] told us how to respond to bullies. He said, “If someone says that you have an ugly shirt say, ‘Thanks! That is the look I was going for!”’
Me: If someone told me I had an ugly shirt I would say, “Not as ugly as your face!” [damn. . . quickly backtrack to some of that “don’t let it bother you” stuff]