Bullying continues to be a problem affecting our schools and children. Bullying can take many forms: cyber bullying, verbal taunting, emotional and physical abuse. With the prevalence of social media, bullying has become an even bigger challenge. In this article you will: find out how to identify a bully, how to know if your child is a victim, and what you can do to help.
What is a bully?
A bully can turn something as simple as going to the bus stop, into a nightmare for children. Bullying can leave deep emotional scars, and in extreme situations, it can involve violent threats, property damage or injury. It’s important to take bullying seriously and not just brush it off as “kids will be kids.” The effects can be serious and affect kids’ sense of safety and self-worth. In severe cases, bullying has contributed to tragedies, such as suicides and school shootings.
Signs your child is being bullied
Children who are often the victim of bullying can complain of stomach pain, headaches, and other ailments, to avoid going to school. As a result of bullying, grades can decline, and children can become withdrawn and depressed.
What should a parent do?
If you become aware your child is being bullied at school, the first step is to speak with the school. Try and get your child’s teacher, principal and guidance counselor informed, and on the same page. It may be necessary to have your child seek therapy, if there are signs of depression. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact your PCG Pediatrician.
Talk to your children on a daily basis; ask pointed questions, such as:
- How was your day?
- Who did you see today?
- Who are your friends that you were with today?
- What did you do today?
- Are you happy with your teacher and/or teacher’s aides?
- Do you feel safe at school and at recess and lunch?
Bullying is difficult to prevent, however, being mindful of its effects and taking an active role, may help you identify and solve the issue.