Psychological Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents

Archive for the Counseling Services Category

Published on: March 21, 2015  

BULLYING: Advice for Parents and their Kids

Parents can help kids and teens learn how to deal with bullying if it happens. For some parents, it may be tempting to tell a kid to fight back. After all, you’re angry that your child is suffering and maybe you were told to “stand up for yourself” when you were young. Or you may worry that your child will continue to suffer at the hands of the bully, and think that fighting back is the only way to put a bully in his or her place.


However, it’s important to advise kids not to respond to bullying by fighting or bullying back. It can quickly escalate into violence, trouble, and someone getting injured. Instead, it’s best to walk away from the situation, hang out with others, and tell an adult.

Here are some other strategies to discuss with kids that can help to improve the situation and help them feel better.



  • Avoid the bully and use the buddy system. Use a different bathroom if a bully is nearby and don’t go to your locker when there is nobody around. Make sure you have someone with you so that you’re not alone with the bully. Buddy up with a friend on the bus, in the hallways, or at recess — wherever the bully is. Offer to do the same for a friend.
  • Hold the anger. It’s natural to get upset by the bully, but that’s what bullies thrive on. It makes them feel more powerful. Practice not crying or looking red or upset. It takes a lot of practice, but it’s a useful skill for keeping off of a bully’s radar. Sometimes kids find it useful to practice “cool down” strategies such as counting to 10, writing down their angry words, taking deep breaths, or walking away. Sometimes the best thing to do is to teach kids to wear a “poker face” until they are clear of any danger (smiling or laughing may provoke the bully).
  • Act brave, walk away, and ignore the bully. Firmly and clearly tell the bully to stop, then walk away. Practice ways to ignore the hurtful remarks, like acting uninterested or texting someone on your cell phone. By ignoring the bully, you’re showing that you don’t care. Eventually, the bully will probably get bored with trying to bother you.
  • Tell an adult. Teachers, principals, parents, and even lunchroom personnel at school can and should help stop bullying by staying watchful and intervening when necessary.
  • Talk about it. Talk to someone you trust, such as a guidance counselor, teacher, sibling, or friend. They may offer some helpful suggestions, and even if they can’t fix the situation, it may help you feel a little less alone.



Dealing with bullying can erode a child’s confidence. To help restore it, encourage your kids to spend time with friends who have a positive influence. Participation in clubs, sports, or other enjoyable activities builds strength and friendships. If school activities are out of the question because of bullies, consider community clubs and teams.

Provide a listening ear about difficult situations, but encourage your kids to also tell you about the good parts of their day, and listen equally attentively. Make sure they know you believe in them and that you’ll do what you can to address any bullying that occurs.



  • Talk with and Listen to Your Children Everyday. Ask questions about their school day, including experiences on the way to and from school, lunch, and recess. Ask about their peers. Children who feel comfortable talking to their parents about these matters before they are involved in bullying are more likely to get them involved after.
  • Spend time at School and Recess. Schools can lack the resources to provide all students individualized attention during “free” time like recess. Volunteer to coordinate games and activities that encourage children to interact with peers aside from their best friends.
  • Be a Good Example. When you get angry at other drivers, servers, or other people in the community, model effective communication techniques. As puts it, “Any time you speak to another person in a mean or abusive way, you’re teaching your child that bullying is okay.”
  • Create Healthy Anti-Bullying Habits. Starting as young as possible, coach your children on both what NOT to do (push, tease, and be mean to others) as well as what TO do (be kind, empathize, and take turns). Also coach your child on what to do if someone is mean to him or to another (get an adult, tell the bully to stop, walk away, and ignore the bully).
  • Make Sure Your Child Understands Bullying. Clearly explain what bullying is, and that it is not normal or tolerable for them to bully other kids, to be bullied, or to stand by and watch other kids get bullied.



If you think your child would benefit from some additional support, consider calling us to set up an appointment with one of our psychologists at Gyro Psychology Services (360.236.0206). We serve children and adolescents ages 2-20 with a variety of emotional, mental, and behavioral health needs. 

We are located at 5191 Corporate Center Ct SE, Lacey, Washington, 98503. Or, check out the Resources page on our website for more information on bullying prevention and interventions, and a variety of other behavior health issues.  Our weekly Blog provides information and tips on tough issues that kids, teens, and their parents face.  Be sure to “like” us on Facebook to receive “Gyro’s Daily Welless Tips” on a variety of subject areas related to parenting and the health and wellness of your child and/or teen.

With Warmest Regards,


Dr. David Callies

Child & Adolescent Psychologist

Gyro Psychology Services



Published on: September 17, 2009  

Linking Kids, Teens and Families to Resources in the South Sound

As a Child & Pediatric Psychologist I take a look at the emotional well being of children and teens.  I take a careful look their social skills, cognitive functioning, problem solving skills, their adaptability, their capacity to engage emotionally, eating patterns, unusual movements or behaviors, anxiety, depression, difficulty paying attention or sitting still and if they are sleeping well or not.

I also look at if they are getting along with their parents or caregivers, the quality of their relationships with their siblings and if they are following the house rules established by their parents and meeting their behavioral expectations, which includes chore completion.  I also ask if they are respectful of others personal space and are generally respectful of others including their ability to be well mannered when appropriate.

Another component I look at is the child’s functioning at school including their academic strengths and challenges, their relationship with their teachers, counselor and members of their educational team as well as their involvement in school-based social groups and clubs.

The last area I look at is the child or teen’s involvement in community-based activities and the relationships they have formed with peers and adults during their involvement in those activities. Getting kids involved in activities is so important that I wanted to develop a place where kids, teens and their parents can go to find fun, organized and safe activities in their community. To meet this need I developed a site that is designed to give kids, teens and their parents a list of organized resources that they can look at so that they can make the very best choice on what activities will be best for their and the children. Interviews with members our community about what they offer kids, teens and families, tips on good bike trails, hiking trails and family friendly parks and beaches will also be a part of this site in the form of the weekly GoGyroGo Blog. A monthly Newsletter will not be far behind. The site is Please take a look.  I think you’ll be happy with what you discover.

All the Best!

Dr. Dave Callies

Gyro Psychology Services, Inc.

& Go Gyro Go

2101 4th Avenue East, Suite 202

Olympia, Washington  98506


360.236.9909 (fax)

866.616.GYRO (4976)