Have you ever been bullied? Or maybe your child is being bullied at school. It is a way for someone to gain social power and importance among peers. It happens every day and especially in schools.
It is hard to watch someone get threatened, pushed or even harassed.
The old ways of bullying like kicking, pushing or just trying to humiliate someone is hard enough, but add in social media bullying and it can seem almost impossible for the victim to get away from it.
What can we do as parents if we suspect or know our child is being bullied at school?
Andrea Cairella, MC, LPC, Psychotherapist and Founder of True Potential Counseling says we as parents can help stop the bullying before it gets out of control.
Cairella explains that a child who is being bullied can feel powerless, angry and like they just don’t belong, which can then cause depression or feelings of hopelessness.
Adolescent kids are already having a hard time trying to fit in and social status can mean everything to them at this stage in life. For a child who is being bullied, they can feel like an outsider can destroy a child’s self worth.
How can you help your child not become a target for bullying?
Cairella says it is important for children to have sense importance at an early age.
Parents can do this by nurturing, spending quality time with them, showing love and making sure they have positive role models in their lives to build up their self worth.
Now a days there is a term called “Cyber Bullying”, and that is where technology can just make bullying even worse because it is on the Internet for everyone to see.
Cyber bullying is the new way kids get bullied and it can be very traumatic for a child who is going to school. Bullying is a way for someone to gain social status among their peers.
If you think your child maybe a victim of bullying Cairella says watch for certain behaviors These can include being less social by avoiding certain social settings where bullying can occur. Or socially isolated behavior, lower grades, depression, or anger outburst.
If these issues are not addressed then long term affects can include difficulty in trusting others, a tendency to be a loaner, ongoing issues with anger, difficulty with being in a new social situations and low self esteem.
What if your child is the bully? What are the signs and how do you stop it?
Cairella says signs can include if your child is showing behaviors of a ring leader, being cocky, or is involved in a cliche or gang. These are signs of a bully and often start in middle school.
We as parents can prevent some of these behaviors from occurring.
Cairella says to teach your child to respect others. Understand how to communicate effectively and also teaching your child how to be kind and not mean.
If your child is being bullied give them a sense of self worth by building confidence in themselves.
Also teach your child how to set boundaries and defend themselves by communicating.
Bottom-line is that bullying is going to exist as long as humans exist. It is something that is unavoidable, but as a parent we can instill in our kids how to be kind, respect others and feel good about who they are without making someone else feel bad.
Copyright 2010 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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