Did you know that more than 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year and approximately 160,000 teens skip school every day because of it?
This school year, if you feel that child has been a victim of bullying or has a problem with bullying behavior, speak to your health care provider about what can be done. Lexington Medical Center physician practices give the below information to parents and teens in their offices.
What is bullying? Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior found commonly among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated or has the potential to be repeated over time.
Types of Bullying ~Unwelcome touching, such as hitting, shoving and kicking or verbal threats of such acts. ~Verbal communication, such as name calling, teasing, threatening words and spreading untrue rumors. ~Damage to property, such as homework, books, school projects, personal items (cell phones, book bags, clothes). ~Exclusion from a group or group activity. ~Cyberbullying (bullying that takes place over cell phones,social media, Snapchat, Instagram, gaming sites or e-mail).
What are some signs that a person is being bullied? ~Physical symptoms that are present only during the week and given as a reason not to go to school (e.g., stomach aches, headaches, etc). ~Poor performance at school. ~Sudden loss of interest in extracurricular activities. ~Loss of self-confidence. ~Unexplained cuts, bruises or damage to personal items. ~Sleep disturbance, nightmares, unexplained crying at bedtime, regression with thumb sucking, bed wetting, etc.
What can be done if you suspect your child is being bullied? ~Speak up! If you are uncomfortable about the comments or actions of someone, tell an authority (parent, school counselor, school resource officer, physician, manager, etc.). ~There are laws in place to prevent bullying in schools. ~Change your child’s mobile number. ~Re-educate yourself and/or your child on safe online social media practices. s Document communication, conferences and phone calls when reporting bullying activities.
The focus is often on the person being bullied, but we must also look at those individuals who bully others to prevent it from happening.
What are the signs a person or child is bullying others? ~Getting into physical or verbal fights. ~Hanging out with people that bully others. ~Frequently showing aggressive behavior. ~Visiting to the principal’s office or receiving detention often. s Having unexplained extra money or belongings. ~Feeling as if that nothing is his or her fault. ~Overly competitive and worrying about reputations and popularity.