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Responding to Bullying
Date: August 24, 2016
School is back in session. A serious problem kids face today is bullying. We should never think of bullying as just “kids being kids”. Bullying among children has been happening for hundreds of years, but only recently has been brought to attention.
Bully victimization has been found to be related to lower self-esteem, higher rates of depression, loneliness and anxiety. Victims are absent from school more, have poorer health and more likely to have suicidal thoughts than non-bullied peers. We need to empower children, make them brave enough to speak up about being bullied. Talk to your children, encourage them to discuss if they are being bullied. Inform the school. Children should never be fearful of another child or going to school, so take proper action. Work with the school and teachers to address the issues.
Warning Signs of Bullying:
• Lost interest in school work
• Has few, if any, friends
• Appears sad, anxious, moody
• Complaints of headaches/stomach aches
• Unexplained cuts, bruises and scratches
• Afraid of going to school
• Come home with torn clothing, missing belongings
• Trouble sleeping/frequent nightmares
The US Department of Health and Human Services defines bullying as an aggressive behavior that is intended to cause harm or distress, occurs repeatedly over time and involved an imbalance of power or strength. Bullying can take many forms, such as hitting (physical), teasing or name calling (verbal), intimidation using gestures or social exclusion (emotional), unwanted sexual contact (sexual) and sending insulting messages by email or social media (cyber).
STOP BULLYING! We have to talk to our children about how to speak up about bullying and also how to interact with their peers to not become the bully.