Bully Proof: 2013

When the CNN Profiles guest booking producers recommended we interview Emily Bazelon about her new book on bullying I was reluctant.

Sure, Bazelon is a household name to those of us who read Slate – which is not a household name.

And she has great credentials, not limited to her law degree from Yale.

But I have bully fatigue. There has been so much news coverage of the issue these past few years.

Nevertheless, I read Bazelon's "Sticks and Stones" and it changed my perspective on bullying, whether it's encountered  in person or online.

Bazelon makes the case that we, as a society, have come to define bullying too broadly - that we often mistake bullying for what children often recognize as more routine "drama" - conflict best handled by children themselves in ways that build resilience.

Bullying first got on Bazelon's radar in 8th grade when, as she tells us, "my friends essentially fired me."

Isolated in the aftermath of that painful experience, Bazelon became acutely aware of the power of empathy.

Now, as a mother of two, her story goes way beyond the serious but relatively rare phenomenon of bullying to a much broader issue of parenting.

How do we fathers and mothers create the conditions for empathy to grow deep roots in our children?

Bazelon shares her insights with us, including a taste of her personally vetted reading list of books we can share with our children.

You may think you have bully fatigue just as I did.

I don't have Bazelon fatigue.