According to a recent study noted on bullyingstatistics.org, about one in every ten student’s drops out or changes schools as a result of repeated bullying. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death of children under age 14. More than half these cases are a result of bullying. We’ve all experienced bullying in some shape or form. Either we’ve been the bullies, the victims, or an onlooker who did nothing. So why is more not being done? And what can we do as parents to help prevent and deal with this extremely important issue?
Let’s start with children who are victims of bullying. As stated on stopbullying.gov: Lack of self-esteem, depression, difficulty forming healthy relationships, and suicide are all effects bullying has on a child. With such extreme “symptoms” you might think you’d notice immediately if your child becomes the victim, but this is not always true. Majority of children won’t even bring up the issue of bullying to an adult or parent. Many children want to impress the parents or are embarrassed by the fact they are unpopular or made fun of at school. Here are some signs you should look for: Unexplainable bruising or injuries. This could be a result to physical bullying. Items missing the child doesn’t mention: such as a lunch box or favorite jacket. They may have been taken and are too scared to tell you they let it happen. They may continually make excuses to avoid school. Or seem to have a fear of going. The last sign I would look for is a lack of friends or social life. Most children have a thriving social life while in school. If your child seems to avoid making friends or communicating with others, they may have issues of bullies excluding them and making fun of them to make them feel that people who hang out with your child will be bullied as well.
So now that you can pinpoint the issue, what can be done? One preventative measure to take is to teach healthy social skills from very young by planning play dates and having other children around at young ages. Before your child starts school, talk to them about bullying so they will be aware of how it happens and can try to avoid getting into those patterns. Most importantly, try and let the child handle it themselves if they become victims. It could make it worse if the parents were to fight their battles for them. If your child seems to show any signs of being bullied, make sure you get counseling before it’s too late. With suicide being such a huge threat, we as parents have to do all we can to prevent this awful outcome.
Let’s skip to if your child is the bully. It may be hard to believe your child bullies kids at school, but yes it does happen. And every bully out there has parents somewhere. According to kidshealth.org: There are several different types of bullying: Some include physical pushing or harm to another student, mocking or making fun of others, intentionally excluding someone, using social networking sites to embarrass or threaten others, or (when talking...