How do you know if your child is being bullied?
Red Flags of Bullying
- Depression and anxiety
- Feelings of sadness and loneliness
- Change in sleep/eating patterns
- Loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed
- frequent generalized health complaints (not with diagnosis)
- Decreased academic achievement
What to do if your child is being bullied?
- Schools have a “zero tolerance policy”, don’t encourage him/her to fight back.
- Encourage him to walk away; tell an adult
- Reporting bullying to an adult should be in an effective way:
- What is the behavior that is being done to him/her?
- Who is doing the bullying?
- How has your child tried to stop the bullying?
Do’s and Don’t’s
- DO write down the details, dates and time
- Do explain to your child that most bullying situations require adult intervention to make the behavior stop
- Do see if your child’s teacher can get the bullying under control.
- Do keep ongoing logs of dates and incidents and the actions you take
- Do inform the school of continued ongoing incidents
- Do Not reach out to the bully or the bully’s family directly after the event. This type of situation requires a proactive approach that often involves a liaison in order to be most effective
- Do Not ignore your child if they say they are being bullied
What if your child is a bully?
Individuals with bullying behavior may “grow out of it. “But don’t be fooled into thinking “it’s just a stage.” More often than not, aggressive behaviors often remain throughout adolescence and into adulthood. Often times, this behavior stems from the inability to rationally solve conflicts and the individual lacks the knowledge of how to act in social situations. Here are some tips and pointers for parents who believe their child is exhibiting bullying behavior.
The Proactive Parent:
- Models respect to their child, other family members, and in public. Remember children are great observers, and watch what you do more than what you say.
- Doesn’t dismiss negative behaviors.
- Communicates regularly with their child.
- Realizes that bullies often start out as victims. Ask your child if they have experienced others being disrespectful or aggressive to them.
- Is consistent. This includes praising your child for positive behaviors. Often times, bullies have low self-esteem. Being a voice of positivity can make a world of difference.
- Is a good listener. They will listen to their child and hold value in their child’s opinions.
- Finds ways to empower their child. If a child feels they have power and control over themselves, they are less likely to act out in aggressive ways towards others.
- Teaches their child coping skills – ways to appropriately deal with anger and frustration (physical activity, breathing exercises, music, writing, etc…)
- Spends time with their child. Bullies crave attention, regardless of if it’s positive or negative. Give them attention through your time and with activities everyone can enjoy.
Bullying is an intimidating label, but it’s honestly a cycle that can be broken. Through proactive parenting, teaching appropriate coping skills, helping with emotional regulation, and demonstrating consistent love, a child can be taught a better way of life.
Cyberbullying: A Growing threat.
- 43 % of kids have been bullied online
- 70% of students report seeing frequent bullying online
- 80% of teens use a cellphone regularly making it the most common medium for cyberbullying
- 68& of teens agree that cyberbullying is a serious problem
- 81% of young people think bullying online is easier to get away with than bullying in person
- 90% of teens who say they have seen social media bullying have ignored it
- only 1 in 10 teens will tell a parent or trusted individual if they are being bullied online
- Girls are about twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of bullying
- about 58% of kids admit that someone has said mean or hurtful things on line, with more than 4 out of 10 saying it has happened more than once
- about 75% of students say they have visited a website bashing another student