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
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.