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Would Your Child Stand Up To Bullies?

Even though it reveals that I sit at home on the couch on Friday nights I’ll go ahead and admit I’m totally addicted to ABC’s What Would You Do?

The hidden camera show puts ordinary people on the spot.  From bullying to abuse and racial attacks, hidden cameras record what the average person would do in certain situations before reporter John Quiñones bursts out of nowhere to confront folks about their reactions.

Dateline set up a similar scenario with hidden cameras to see how teens react to bullying.  The kicker?  It isn’t just a reporter monitoring their actions.  Their parents are watching too.

Bullying has been in the news a lot lately.  It’s been linked to depression and even suicide.  No parent wants to think their child is the bully.  But some statistics show half of all schoolchildren report being bullied, so someone has to be doing it.

Here’s one of the Dateline scenarios : Girls are invited to what they think is a TV fashion program but three of their fellow participants are actually actors. Two pretty, slightly older girls play the role of bullies and one heavyset girl played victim.

Another scenario includes boys playing basketball.  Three older, athletic boys push around a younger, skinnier kid.  How will the other players react?

Parents watch backstage while their girls are filmed reacting to the bullies.  From the clips I’ve seen, parents are very surprised by their childrens’ reactions.

Rosalind Wiseman, author of “Queen Bees & Wannabes,” says teaching kids good values isn’t enough; parents have to teach them how to act on those values in everyday situations.

Now that I’m a parent I would love to participate in one of these scenarios to see how my kid would react.  How thrilled would you be if your child stood up to the bully?

You can see how all the kids react on My Kid Would Never Bully tonight on Dateline.  They also have a set of tips for both parents and children.

Photo: Flickr.com/trix0r

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