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Bullying: What Parents Can Do

Bullying has changed. It is not the same type of bullying when we, adults, were in school. Remember when we were in school? You may have seen or been exposed to bullying or seen someone bullied. It was horrible, I am sure. Children can say and do horrible things that will stay with a bullying victim for a lifetime. Today it has changed. Today, children are not only bullied at school, face to face, but also through social media. If you see a dramatic change in behavior such as refusing to go to school, low grades, a lack of self-confidence or self worth, then your child my be a victim of bullying. Social Media has become a tool for bullies to use. If you discover that your child is threatened with physical aggression, threatened or called names repeatedly, then your child is being bullied. If a group of children are pressuring your child to make unwanted choices, then your child is being bullied.Bully’s make threats on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or simply through text messaging. What’s worse is that your child will be extremely reluctant to tell you what is happening. A child’s social life means everything to them. They want to be accepted by their peers and deeply care about what their friends and enemies think of them.

There is something you can do. Spend time with your children on a weekly basis. Take them out to dinner or for coffee and talk about their day and share your day with them too. Find something your child loves to do and do it with them. Contact your child’s school and share your concerns over possible bullying. Most schools have extensive procedures to investigate and stop bullying. Finally, monitor your child’s social media through their electronic devices. If bullying is happening, contact your phone company and have the alleged bully blocked from your child’s accounts. Remember, your child will not share this info with you. They will want to solve this themselves. Help them work through this.

by Jason Davis, LPC
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