Stories about: bullying

What if my child is a bully? A parent’s guide to end the bullying

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When Samantha was 10 years old, she was bullied by a classmate. Read her story.

It’s a busy day at work. Your phone rings, and the principal at your child’s school tells you your child is bullying other students. What do you do?

Popular media tends to focus just on the children who are bullied. So, what about the children who are bullies? According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, approximately 30 percent of young people admit to bullying others. Research also shows that bullies are at greater risk for delinquent behavior and may experience adverse physical and mental health consequences including poor academic achievement, depressive symptoms and more.

Here are some tips to help parents start the conversation, and stop the bullying:

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Samantha’s story: Partnering with BACPAC program to end bullying

During the fifth grade when Samantha was 10 years old, she was bullied by a male classmate. She remembers walking through the halls of her elementary school and hearing the bully call out these words:

“Why are you on this earth? You don’t deserve to be alive.”

The bullying followed her every day.

“I didn’t want to go to school because I knew he would be there. I was afraid,” says Samantha, now 12.

Weeks into the school year, the harassment and intimidation escalated and turned physical.

“It was usually mental [abuse], but at one point in fifth grade the bully came up to me, and he punched me on the back,” says Samantha quietly. This was the breaking point.

“I had enough,” says Samantha’s mother Karen. “The verbal and physical abuse needed to stop.”

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Advocating for your child: A parent’s guide to ending bullying

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Bullying hurts.

Imagine walking down the middle school hallway and someone insults you as you pass by.

Picture entering the school bathroom and watching as another student takes your backpack and dumps the contents on the floor.

Imagine being pushed by a classmate in the cafeteria or reading mean comments on social media.

These are common scenarios of a child being victimized by a bully.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 3.2 million children report being bullied during the school year. It is also estimated a staggering 160,000 teenagers miss school every day because of the fear of being victimized.

When your child is being bullied, it hurts. Parents want to help their child end the abuse but are often uncertain how to go about it. Here is a parent’s guide to advocacy.

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Ask the expert: How to prevent and respond to bullying

Bullying

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. It brings a flood of anti-bullying postings on social media, as well as anti-bullying banners and signs in schools and the community.

National Bullying Prevention Month reminds us bullying is common; one out of four students report they were bullied during the last school year. Bullying involves a difference in social or physical power between the child who is doing the bullying and the child being bullied; it can be verbal, physical or emotional bullying and is often a pattern of behavior.

The increased awareness that comes with Bullying Prevention Month can encourage schools and communities to develop programs to promote an anti-bullying culture. In today’s world, bullying is rightfully treated as serious business — there are increased efforts to encourage bullying to be reported and anti-bullying laws to prevent and address bullying when it occurs.

Bullying prevention efforts can have a number of different focuses, such as campaigns to turn children from “bystanders to upstanders” or encouraging children to “Shake it off” as in the Taylor Swift song. But what can parents do to prevent bullying, and what can they do if their child is being bullied?

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