Navigation Links
With Bullying, What's a Parent to Do?
Date:11/26/2012

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Nov. 23 (HealthDay News) -- When kids have academic problems, report cards make that clear to parents. And if a kid skins a knee or breaks a bone, parents know what to do.

But detecting that a child is being bullied, and then knowing how to react, may not be so clear-cut.

Kids often are reluctant to tell their parents they're being bullied, making it difficult to know that they're having trouble with other kids at school or online.

One thing that's very clear, however, is that bullying is not a rare occurrence. About one in five kids reports being bullied at school in the past 12 months, and another 16 percent have been harassed online, according to a survey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also found that 6 percent of children and teens didn't go to school at least once in the previous month because they were concerned for their safety.

Bullying "eats away at a young person's self-esteem," said Dan Rauzi, a national bullying expert and senior director of technology programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "It can cause them to not want to go to school or get on the bus, they may not want to go online and it affects learning in school."

Bullying also interferes with a child's social, emotional and academic development, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Sometimes the harassment is so severe that bullying victims commit suicide, the academy reports.

So, what signs should a parent be watching for?

A child who's being bullied may be more anxious and fearful, perhaps wanting to avoid school and social settings, according to Victor Gardner, a child and adolescent psychologist with the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.

Children may complain of headaches, stomachaches and nausea, he said. Or, they may develop low self-esteem and lack confidence. Grades may drop, too. If the bullying is occurring online, the child might stop participating in favorite online activities.

Some signs are more obvious, such as unexplained bruising, torn clothing, missing items -- such as books, electronics or jewelry -- and noticeable changes in eating habits. For instance, bullying experts say that kids might eat a great deal when coming home from school because they didn't eat lunch because of some type of bullying.

"If you notice behavioral changes -- a previously happy child now seems sullen, angry and upset -- ask what's going on," Rauzi said. "Don't take the standard 'Nothing' or 'I'm fine' response. One of the reasons that young people don't tell adults what's going on is that they don't think anything will happen."

Ideally, parents will have had discussions about bullying with their children before it occurs, Gardner said. "When children are going off to a new school or a sleep-away camp, or they're showing an increased interest in going online, be open and honest with them about the things that could happen," he said. "Tell them when it's appropriate to speak up and who to tell. If you have that talk, and review it when school starts, it helps to encourage the lines of communication."

Knowing what steps to take to stop a bully can be somewhat trickier. For starters, kids often don't want their parents to get involved at all.

In this case, Gardner said, let the child know that you're glad he or she told you what was going on and that you'd like to talk about what your child has done to try to reduce the bullying behavior. Help the child assess whether those steps are working, and let your child know that anytime it becomes overwhelming, you're willing to step in.

He suggests asking your child what he or she thinks the next steps should be if the bullying doesn't subside. Does your child want to talk to a counselor? Would he or she like to have both sets of parents and children meet with school officials?

Rauzi said it's also important to distinguish between bullying and youth conflict.

"You can engage in conflict with your peers, and that's not necessarily bullying," Rauzi said. "Bullying is not just a one-shot deal. Getting picked on repeatedly is bullying. If there's an imbalance of power, one kid is physically bigger or more socially connected or more tech savvy, that's bullying. But, it's important that parents know the difference and they shouldn't jump into every youth conflict situation," he noted.

"We can help them work through a conflict," he said, "but bullying needs adult intervention."

Rauzi said it's also good to keep in mind that children and teens are pretty resilient. If the bullying stops and kids can re-establish their social networks, they probably won't have lasting damage from bullying.

Of course, that's not always the case. As Gardner said, "adults need to remember that bullying isn't just a case of 'kids will be kids.'"

Gardner pointed out that "there can be significant and life-threatening consequences when bullying occurs, and children need the support of their parents and school, and they need to intervene as soon as possible."

More information

Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center has more about bullying.

A companion article details one teen's stand against bullies.

SOURCES: Dan Rauzi, senior director, technology programs, Boys & Girls Clubs of America; Victor Gardner, Psy.D., child and adolescent psychologist, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Presidential candidates should address childhood obesity and bullying, poll says
2. New American Chemical Society video series shines a light on transparent solar cells
3. Fear of the dentist is passed on to children by their parents
4. Smoking parents often expose children to tobacco smoke in their cars
5. Parents Social Anxiety May Raise Kids Risk for Anxiety Disorder
6. Trickle-down anxiety: Study examines parental behaviors that create anxious children
7. Attention, parents: UC research reveals a secret about your medicine cabinet
8. Foster Kids Adopted by Same-Sex Parents Make Big Gains, Study Says
9. Staying Home With Sick Kids Causes Job Worries for Parents: Survey
10. Parents of babies with sickle cell trait are less likely to receive genetic counseling, study says
11. Review: Altruisms influence on parental decision to vaccinate children is unclear
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
With Bullying, What's a Parent to Do?
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh, has released ... understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of Revelation paints a picture ... Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl Hawkins says that is ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story of a missionary couple ... From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation of published author, Carole ... and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, which she has taught ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... are now treating sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As ... serious sleep disorder characterized by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( https://isocomforter.com ), one of the Nation’s premier ... of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad provides optimal support and full contact ... using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water that is circulated from an insulated ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Maryland (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... magnetic drug delivery system that we intend to develop to enable prevention of ... can lead to severe hearing loss, especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/27/2017)... , Sept. 27, 2017  DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO), a leading ... announced that its MyDario product is expected to appear on The Dr. ... The Dr. Oz Show airs in your area: http://www.doctoroz.com/page/where-watch-dr-oz-show ... The nine-time Emmy award-winning, The Dr. Oz Show ... The segment ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... , Sept. 22, 2017 AVACEN Medical ... device is now successfully helping those with the widespread ... Fibromyalgia diagnosed Amanda in Essex, England ... and washing my hair, experiencing no sleep at all, ... painful spasm… I cannot recommend [the AVACEN 100] enough, ...
(Date:9/13/2017)... has been named the official orthopedic and sports medicine ... 2018 College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship to be played ... Atlanta, Georgia . OrthoAtlanta is proud to be ... many activities leading up to, and including the national championship ... OrthoAtlanta serves ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: