Original poster
So, I have this niece, she's 11-ish, an only child. Really small, pale and frail looking. Turbo nice and a total girly-girl. Wears nothing but dresses. Slightly nerdy since she likes to read and I got her into playing videogames. She's also being bullied by about 5 girls in her class who are bigger, stronger and meaner than she is. I'm sort of at a loss about what to tell her or what to say sometimes, since her upbringing is completely different from mine...

Going through school I got bullied a lot because I was quiet and nice. The girls in my school did not seem to LIKE nice people. Not to mention I was friends with all the boys. We were only in grade/middle school but apparently this was not to their liking because it meant being friends with the boys meant they were all my boyfriends, or something like that. Anyway, the bullying stopped after I was forced to "take a stand," plus I had a cousin in the same school that was younger than me and I looked out for her. Not to mention my family's solution to bullying was "they hit you? well hit'em back then!" and if you came home with a black eye, the other kid better have two.

My parents also told me that if I got into a fight that they'd buy me a birthday cake, even though it wasn't my birthday. AWESOME. Of course I didn't really PLAN on taking them up on it...but after I sort of started a playground-wide fight...>_> That cake was DAMN tasty. But being as that's MY experience with bullying...that's why I feel like I'm at a loss about what to do with my niece, since I'm pretty sure she CAN'T fight back...not to mention I really wouldn't want her to get her ass beat. Cuz I'm pretty sure that's what would happen ;_;

I spent my three years of middle school being the target of racist bullying, cause I was the only white girl in the neighborhood. o___o This bitch and her posse kicked my ASS any time they caught me alone after school.

I never fought back because I was afraid I would hurt someone and my spirit was totally broken after years of mental abuse! e.e; Eventually my mom cared enough to call the cops.

After that she didn't come near me, and I spent my two years in high school skipping school as much as I could get away with. >>; I "Missed the bus" a lot.

DON'T BE A PACIFIST! FIGHT BACK! x___x All that "turn the other cheek" stuff is bullshit when someone is physically punching you in the face! They just follow you home and beat you up some more! .__.;
I hated bullies in school. I was also a small, quite kid so it was bad.

My take is, Fight back. Standing up for yourself is the number one way to show bullies that you're not some softy thats going to take it sitting down. It might mean getting beat up a couple times, but eventually they will move on to someone who won't fight back. Thats what bullies do, they aren't looking for a fight, they are looking for someone to push around.

I'm not sure that would work for your Niece though, but good luck with that and my heart goes out to her. Kids can be so damn cruel.
Oh man, way back for me, every recess day was pretty much ENDLESS AGGRESSION AND WARFARE.
I was a bully when I lived in Texas. I always beat up fat boys and blamed it on other people so I wouldn't get in trouble. I look back at it and laugh and laugh soooo much. 83

But after I moved, I became the victim. What goes around, comes around I guess. I've always been a nerdy girl with glasses; kids even called me four eyes! Maybe that's why I was such a devious child most of my life... So much rage to take out. XD After I finally graduated from high school, the nightmares were over. Girls liked to pick on me and watch me cry. Humans are sick, sick creatures.

Like everyone else in this thread I was target for bullying. Their motives were sadistic pleasure and religion, amazing how often those two are paired. I was either running, fighting or hiding. Come highschool I stopped fighting fair and learned the weakpoints of the human body since it became about more than protecting myself. Thats when the cost of coming within arms reach of me became not worth ripping on the 'satanist'.
I don't know, I was bullied some, but I never had to fight back. There was one in particular who, every time I stood up, kicked me so hard in the back of the knees that I fell forward. As soon as my two best friends, Andy and Dustin, figured out what was happening, they kicked their asses so I never really had to do it for myself. I was lucky to have them, since I'd probably be more guilty and hard on myself for hurting someone than to just take the abuse.

As far as your niece goes, I suppose encouraging her to make friends with bigger, less gentle kids isn't really going to be effective. In what method are they bullying her?
I'm STILL bullied... and I'm in college now!! Although.... wearing a cloak, kitty ears, and an elven circlet doesn't really help much. XD I've never been beat up though. Mostly because people at my schools are wimps and once i yelled at them in my super loud angry voice and stand up for myself, they pretty much drop it until the next time. Maybe that was because I got the teacher's attention. There was one girl, however, that I came very close to punching in the solar plexus. It was senior year in high school. She was a freshmen and just got transfered to my bus because she hit her old bus driver. (I honestly think she has balls for that... maybe she's a hermaphrodite or something XD) Her insults were so retarded though. Cat face. Witch. Blah blah blah. It was like she was 7! But when my sister stood up for me, that girl started insulting her. I don't know what it was about her that just made my temper go crazy but it was funny though because the bus driver stood up for me and pulled out her bat. XD Miss Wilkinson, you are my hero for life!

But yeah, I'd tell her to at least stand up for herself when it comes to verbal bullying. I don't really know how to help with physical bullying though...
I wasn't ever really bullied since 5th grade...took one good punch to the bully's face and the rumor that my adoptive dad was part of the mafia that stopped all that until high school.

Then in high school I was a scrappy little punk with an acidic wit, I was still the nerdy kid watching anime and junk but if anyone gave me crap I picked out their insecurities and picked at it like a scab until they started crying. Mental revenge on bullying is my forte~ then if things got physical I would simply kick their butts! >D The only time it really got to throwing down the guy attempted to choke me and I just stood there like "Are you done yet?" and kneed him square in the gut. Plus two days of suspension didn't really affect me, I got to hang out at home and relax because my mom didn't care~

Moral of story, tell your precocious little niece to figure out their insecurities and break their will >D or to get an adult like a responsible girl!
As many of you can guess, I've been bullied. The serious, violent ones all give up for one reason or another. A few became good friends.

I'm not the easy target I appear to be. I know that courtesy and adaptability look like weakness and fear to most people, but I find it takes me more nerve to resist always needing to project "don't mess with me" preemptively.

[THIS IS WHERE I ASKED A STUPID QUESTION, BBL... with advice... if you want some... from someone who asked a stupid question...]

All that "turn the other cheek" stuff is bullshit when someone is physically punching you in the face! They just follow you home and beat you up some more! .__
This is like complaining that practicing "the Golden Rule" won't stop someone from hitting you. Duh! "Turn the other cheek" is part of the same passage. Neither of them are about stopping mistreatment from someone else. Sorry, if it comes off harsh, but so did the above quote. I just wanted to clarify. Please don't start discussing me in the staff forum, okay? ;)
Mostly on the side of bullying others, I guess, only tip I have is to fight back.
I had a high tolerance for bullying. Generally, I never did anything about it but have a stern face, like the rock wall facing the waves. Undaunted in the face of an everlasting torrent of torturous waves.

The key to dealing with a group of bullies is focused violence. Choose their leader, the primary antagonist. This group of 5 girls is being egged on by the Alpha, and if not, well, there is still an Alpha to deal with. Find her, and destroy her. Preemptively works alright, but it's primary strength will be in reactionary violence. Let the girls begin their bullying, and explode with a sudden ferocity. Focus on the Alpha, and beat them into submission. Never, ever stop focusing on them, even in the face of being beaten on by the other 4 girls. As a matter of fact, make sure Alpha needs some kind of primary care afterward, even if it's just staying at home for a week.

Harsh? Yes.

Effective? Very.

The other girls will be so scared of your cousin later, they won't fuck with her again in fear of having that happen to them. And if they start it again, all your cousin will have to do is stare hard at the Alpha.
Shuddup Coffee! XD You suck!
The problem with this is that the person in question that is being bullied may not have the actual physical strength to retaliate toward her attackers.

since I'm pretty sure she CAN'T fight back...not to mention I really wouldn't want her to get her ass beat. Cuz I'm pretty sure that's what would happen ;_;

I was the target of varying types of bullying throughout elementary and high school. I also did a bit of bullying in elementary against a kid twice the size of me with predictable, and in hindsight hilarious results, (oddly enough we later became pretty good friends). Using a set of house keys on a necklace as an improv weapon helped me avoid most of the physical bullying throughout elementary. Also having a couple friends that were quite a bit bigger and not afraid to back me up in times of need, helped.

Physical retaliation, while often effective… is not always the best of answers when one is outmatched and outnumbered.

When I was young, I asked my dad for a solution for this problem of being harassed and bullied. “They’re just trying to get your goat, once they figure out how to anger you they’ll keep at it until you snap.”

If one simply agrees with the bully or harasser, they may run out of annoyances and move on. Or they may simply get bored and thus lead back to the same result of them moving on. I tried this tactic in my own experience, and to some effect it does work. Once the bullies figured they couldn’t get a rise out of me they usually gave up. Of course, this means swallowing your pride and taking the role of someone indifferent. Depending on what one is being harassed with, this can be an extremely difficult thing to do. A simple “Fuck off” (not wise vocab for a 11 year old… reword it or move on to the ignore part) and ignore they exist works quite well if all they are doing is verbally harassing and not physically taking items, pushing, shoving. At least it worked in my case.

Also, may be wise to have some sorta mention to the school teachers or administration that this stuff is going on. Yeah, I know the teachers and admins are not going to do a damn thing about it that’ll help (and in fact perhaps even more ridicule as they’d tease over being a crybaby). But it may be wise anyway to tell the school that something is going on who knows, maybe they might.
I remember being in a class of only five and nearly getting everyone aside from me expelled for bullying.
My biggest regret as the fat, slovenly nerdy kid in elementary school was NOT fighting back. Pacifism is extremely hard to pull off. I'm not awesome enough to do what Ghandi and Martin Luther King could. Me, I'm still very old school:

1) Hit them in the face.
2) Hit them some more.
3) ???
It was always hard to get me to fight. It still is.

I was really good at avoiding fighting. I didn't care who mocked me for not fighting so long as they didn't touch me. I even tolerated shoving. When I did get cornered and couldn't get away though, I'd strike quickly and decisively.

I agree with aiming for the face. Swing hard and fast.

Unlike most, though, I'd flee to safety shortly afterward. Maybe that's dangerous, but I've never had to deal with reprisals. The bullies would get the message and word would spread.

For verbal bullying, learn to blow them off or develop a sharp tongue. Maybe both. Sometimes indifference alone works. Sometimes showing them just how unafraid you are is enough. Stare them down. Sometimes acting nonchalant and unimpressed is more effective than trying to look angry.

For physical fighting, maybe spar a little with a friendly relative who knows a bit about fighting. Doesn't even have to be contact sparring. Nothing really serious. Just get used to noticing openings and throwing punches.

I was a small, skinny geeky kid who'd rather get along with everybody, but I learned to fight from some relatives from out of town. Even when they encouraged me to use what I'd learned, I'd avoid fighting, but when I finally ended up with no escape, I surprised everyone--myself included. Even a small hand can do some damage when it's moving quickly enough.