In this series of school violence I wanted to chat about the warning signs that your child is being bullied.
This generation has a lot more ways to become a victim to bullying than the previous generations before.
There is bullying on social media, texting, emailing, chat rooms, and in person.
There is physical violence, sexual violence,threatening violence, inappropriate sexual comments, sexual harassment, teasing, taunting, spreading rumors, name calling, social media,and destruction of property and bullying of special needs kids.
How do you know if your child is being bullied?
It is really not enough to just ask your child because he/she may not feel comfortable discussing it or even admitting it. He/She may not even see some actions as bullying.
For starters you can sit your child down and define bullying. Bullying is defined by Stopbullying.gov as
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once
Then talk about the different types of bullying that are mentioned above. This is a great opportunity to open up the floor and ask you child if he/she has ever experienced any of the above issues and be sure to watch their expressions as they answer. Your child may say no verbally but their body language may tell a different story.
Also know the physical symptoms a child goes through when being bullied.
Signs of a fight such as a black eye or bruises
Not wanting to go to school
property destroyed or missing
changes in eating habits
sudden loss of friends
isolation from family
decreased self esteem
unexplained changes in your child's behavior or personality
self harming behavior
suicide talk or attempts
If your child is displaying any of the above signs get help from a professional.
See your school's counselor or seek a therapist. Also be sure to address the issue with the school principal. All schools should have a zero tolerance policy for bullying. If your school does not or if you cannot get assistance from your school to stop the bullying then take it to your local school board or the police.
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