Nov
30
2010

Is Your Child Being Bullied?

Many of us have memories of childhood bullies that made our lives, or the lives of someone we knew, miserable.  As many of you have learned from the news, bullying is more prevalent now than ever.  Bullying is not a single or occasional incident, but is defined as a series of incidents in which one child picks on another child.  Some signs that your child may be a victim of bullying include;

 1. Perpetual upset stomach;

2. A sudden desire to stay home from school;

3. Asking for a ride to school if he or she usually walks or takes a bus;

4. Noticeable loss of self-confidence;

5. Onset of moodiness or depression;

6. Skipping class;

7. Missing lunch money or other personal items, and/or;

8. Bruises, aches and pains that he or she doesn’t want to discuss

 If you believe that your child is the victim of a bully you can and should help.  If it’s happening at school or if the bully is a student at the school, contact your child’s school to report him or her.  Schools these days have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to bullies and will vigorously seek to resolve the problem.

 Discuss with your child how they should react to the bully.  Tears will often make a bully feel more powerful. Advise them that while they should not have to hide or change their normal routine, it’s a good idea to avoid contact with a bully when possible.  Don’t tell your child to fight back as it could cause an escalation of violence.  Instead, tell them to get away from the situation and report the incident to a school official, to you, or to another responsible adult at the location where the bullying occurred.

 Remember that many bullies today have access to your home via the computer and your child’s cell phone.  Cyber-bullying is very prevalent with tweens and teens.  Block or don’t respond to an online bully.  Keep the computer in a family area of the house, not a bedroom, and monitor what your child is doing online.  Report to the school or appropriate official any cyber-bullying you become aware of.

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5 Comments + Add Comment

  • I recently experienced bullying in the workplace. Perhaps teaching your kids that it can happen to grown-ups too, might help.

    Here’s an article I found on bullying – it’s for grown-ups, but seems lots can apply to kiddos too: http://collaborateintherapy.com/2011/bullying

  • If your child is being bullied at school (and some children are also bullied at home,whether by a sibling, cousin, neighbor, etc….) you should seriously look into enrolling your child in a self-defense course at a local Martial Arts school. Whether Karate’, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Kung Fu, Boxing, Kick Boxing, Jiu Jitsu….some sort of defensive arts. This way, your son or daughter can learn both self-defense skills, and even some self-confidence. Please consider these thoughts.

  • Nonsense to the “Don’t tell your child to fight back…” A good martial arts instructor (I stress *good*) will not only teach the child how to respond physically, but how to handle the situation without undue violence. Most bullies are cowards who delight in kids who won’t fight back. Long, long ago I learned that a bully with a bloody nose is not very fearsome. The other kids pick up on it, too.

    Don’t be lulled into the namby-pamby PC of “don’t fight back!” You’ll encourage the bully to see how far he/she can go!

  • It’s important to keep in mind that the bully is often bullied him or herself, and that they should be looked at with compassion as well. That doesn’t mean their behavior should be condoned though – point of fact they should be stood up to and called on their crap. Bullies operate from the shadows, and dragging them out into the light exposes them and should stop the behavior.

    I wouldn’t hesitate though, if I have kids anyway, to tell them to physically defend themselves if they had to (unfortunately that isn’t always easy, as I’ve been bullied and not stood up for myself!). I don’t believe in violence, but I do believe we all have a right to our own bodies and health, and that we have a right to defend that if we have to – be it physically or verbally.

  • Wonderful Article! I sure have lots of memories of being picked on and bullied from Elementary School all through High School!! It brings me so much joy that I can use my experience and share them with thousands of students all over the northeast. That’s why I put my heart & soul into my Buddies Not Bullies school assembly anti-bullying program for K-6th grade!

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