• What you can do to end bullying

    Bullying is more than a few kids not getting along on the playground. It is a public health crisis for young people, and everyone in the community has a role to play in ending it. Pediatricians and other healthcare providers can help by paying attention to the signs of bullying when they are providing care for young patients and by proactively discussing the issue with both kids and their parents during appointments. There are also many things that parents can do in the fight against bullying, including taking these steps.

Know what bullying is
Bullying is sometimes such as hot button issue for parents that they don’t really stop to consider what exactly it means. There are a few key identifiers of bullying:

  • Aggressive behavior
  • Power imbalance between the parties involved. This imbalance may be real, such as older children bullying a young child, or it may be perceived.
  • Repeated behavior

Bullying can take several different forms, including verbal, social, and physical aggression. There are other kinds of aggression besides bullying that children can experience, so it’s important to know what bullying is and isn’t, so you can get the right kind of help for your child’s specific needs.

Learn the warning signs
Parents need to learn the warning signs that their child is being bullied and that their child is taking part in bullying. If your child is being bullied, you may notice these signs:

  • Lost possessions, or possessions that have been damaged
  • Frequent nightmares
  • Change in grades, friends, or eating habits
  • Faking illnesses to avoid school
  • Unexplained injuries

If your child is engaging in bullying, you may see these signs:

  • Increased aggression
  • Unexplained new possessions or money
  • Refusing to take responsibility for actions
  • Frequent detentions or other in-school punishments
  • Worried about popularity and reputation

Take action
If bullying is happening at your child’s school, talk to the school administration and work with them on a plan for addressing the situation. Keep records of incidents, and keep the lines of communication open.

You should also keep the communication going with your child. Whether he or she is being bullied or is bullying, your help and guidance in a critical part of the solution.

Your child’s pediatrics specialist at Sunrise Children’s Hospital is also available to help you and your family deal with issues of bullying. Find out more about our resources for kids or get a referral to a pediatrician in Las Vegas by calling (702) 233-5437.

  • Telling your child you have breast cancer

    Finding out you have breast cancer is hard. Telling your kids that you have breast cancer is even harder. Although you may instinctively want to delay telling your child that you have breast cancer for as long as possible, it is actually usually recommended to tell the truth as soon as you can. Being honest with your child about your condition in an age-appropriate way can actually help him or her feel less anxious. These tips will help you have this difficult conversation with your child.

  • Seek advice
    In most cases, your breast cancer care team will be able to offer advice about talking to your child about your diagnosis. They have seen other families go through the same process and can tell you what has worked for them.

    They may also have recommendations for local support groups for kids, suggestions about reading material and other resources that are geared towards kids, and other tools that can make it easier to address your diagnosis.

    Be truthful
    Depending on your child’s age, it may not always be able to explain everything that is going on with your disease. However, resist the urge to hide information from him or her unnecessarily in hopes of preventing anxiety.

    When kids are left to their own imaginations, they often think that things are worse than they are. Finding out exactly what is happening with you may help your child feel less worried. This is especially true when you start treatment and may have physical symptoms, like hair loss, that he or she doesn’t understand.

    Trust yourself
    Although there is plenty of advice available for talking to kids about a cancer diagnosis, trust your gut. You know your child best and know the best way to communicate with him or her. Your instincts will also tell you how much is appropriate to share and when.

    The providers at Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas are here to help families through difficult times just like these. Your child’s pediatrics specialist can be a source of support for you and your family as you navigate your breast cancer treatment. Contact us for more information or a physician referral by calling (702) 233-5437.

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