Bullying has happened for decades, but according to Michelle Alexander, co-author of Little Girls Can be Mean: Four Steps to Bully Proof Girls in the Early Grades, it is happening on a larger scale — it is more permanent and more public, making it more necessary for parents to step in. But don’t jump in right away! In this YouTube excerpt, she recommends four steps for parents:

1. Observe the social scene changes in behavior.
2. Connect with your child in a new way. Empathize, even when think your daughter is the mean one.
3. Guide your child with simple, compassionate strategies.Come up with a list of possible ideas, she should come back to you with the results, the two of you are working together.
4. Support your daughter to act more independently to face the social issues.

Alexander’s book is one of those recommended by Not in Our Town Princeton, as part of an April 10, 2012 program on “Bullying: Changing the Culture.” Elementary school kids are ready for guidance from parents or teachers, says Alexander. It is the perfect age to deal with bullying.