Struggling Students and Bullying

March 14, 2014

If your child struggles with a learning disability, life is hard enough. Tack on a playground or online bully and going to school can leave your child feeling weak, afraid and frustrated.

With learning struggles and bullying, it’s sometimes the age-old chicken and the egg question of which came first. But, it’s a moot point. The only answer a parent needs is how to help your child feel safe, supported and hopeful about his or her potential.

Kevin Pasqua, owner and executive director of LearningRx in Brookfield, says parents should take a three-pronged approach to help their child – address the bullying, fix the learning struggles and build your child’s confidence.

To schedule an appointment with LearningRx to discuss your child’s learning struggles, call 262-395-2250 or visit

1. Initiate a conversation with your child. Don’t wait for them to come to you. Try to listen more than you talk and work together to find a solution that helps your child feel empowered.

2. Monitor your child’s activities – especially online. There’s a fine line between snooping and monitoring, and parents need to decide for themselves where that is. At the very least, look to see what your child’s classmates are saying or posting.

3. Enroll your child in cognitive skills training. Also known as “brain training,” intensive, one-on-one programs can significantly increase confidence, raise IQ and virtually eliminate common learning disabilities like ADHD, dyslexia and dyscalculia (trouble with math). Unlike tutoring, which rehashes subject material, cognitive skills training actually changes the brain to make a stronger, faster and more efficient learner in ANY subject or situation.

4. Teach your children to be more assertive. A bully’s goal is generally to provoke a reaction from their victim. Teaching a child to remain composed, firm and assertive can be enough to deflate a bully’s interest.

To teach assertiveness, role play with your child. Have them practice saying “No” firmly and loudly while looking you in the eye. Teach them how to respond nonchalantly to insults and teasing with a shrug and “That’s your opinion” or “Maybe.” Talk about the importance of walking away and reporting the incident, rather than allowing the bully to see emotions like anger, fear or sadness.

Self-defense classes or martial arts are great at building confidence. In addition to getting physically stronger, children of any age often find that martial arts strengthens cognitive skills like attention, processing speed and problem-solving abilities, which often transfer to academics as well.

5. Report the bullying to the school. This can be tricky if your child is worried that “tattling” will make the bullying worse. However, schools are getting better about implementing zero-tolerance policies. Chances are, the bullying isn’t going to stop on its own.

For additional guidance, visit

Community Watch

» Initial Reaction Podcast: Menomonee Falls baseball virtuoso Ty Weber and Big Ten Media Day Updated:  7/29

» 12-year-old Shorewood journalist gets her scoop at the Republican National Convention 7/28

» Whitefish Bay woman takes home grand prize at the Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge Updated:  7/27

» Backups of more than 3 miles reported on northbound I-43 at Good Hope 7/27

» 92-year-old Shorewood building will be torn down to make way for North Shore Bank building Updated:  7/27

» Former legislator competing against political organizer for his old Assembly seat 7/27

» Whitefish Bay family's treehouse is a work of art 7/27

» Nicolet High School hires David Coyle as associate principal 7/27

» Shorewood baseball team fought back late in season 7/27

» Lund is new Nicolet girls basketball coach 7/27

» Nicolet baseball team improved despite its youth 7/27

» Kasmarick adjusting to life as Whitefish Bay athletic director 7/27

» Social media story on the storms rolling through Milwaukee area 7/21

» Milwaukee's first surf shop rides into Shorewood Updated:  7/21

» Rock climbing wall, trampolines might come to Brown Deer business park Updated:  7/20

» Whitefish Bay baseball team ends Shorewood magic with regional win 7/20

» Nicolet baseball team goes down fighting in regional loss to Kewaskum 7/20

» Whitefish Bay's Rybakowicz shuts out Brown Deer in regional semi 7/20

» Initial Reaction Podcast: Wisconsin Badgers football, WIFCA All-Star game 7/20

» West Bend West's Burns beats Whitefish Bay baseball team on mound, at plate in sectional 7/20

» Maslowski oversaw creation of nine tax incremental financing districts 7/19

» Maslowski transformed Glendale in impactful career as city administrator 7/19

» Development is off the table in Wilson Drive discussions 7/19

» Debbie Roesner appointed to Fox Point-Bayside School Board 7/19

» Bublr makes push for extra bike rental stations in Shorewood 7/18

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Best Summer Ever


We've made it easy for you to get out and go this summer. From hitting the trails for a bike ride or walk, to where to find beer gardens in the area, to the best places to swim in Waukesha County to the best summer drinks and summer reads, check out our 2016 summer guide.