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The Signs of Bullying

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Teens are up against a great deal and need the support of parents, guardians, family and friends. Every day we see reports about bullying, but can we help?

Let’s start out by identifying the types of bullying:

There are 4 main types of bullying, they are: Physical, Social, Verbal, and Cyber Bullying.

Physical: include, but are not limited to punching, slapping, kicking, hitting, and pushing. This also includes when an individual destroys a book, uniform, or any property of another student.

Social bullying involves using relationships to hurt someone. It involves excluding or ostracizing someone from a friend group, spreading rumors, or “the silent treatment”.

Verbal – involves calling names, making offensive jokes, belittling other’s capabilities, and scrutinizing one’s religion, race, color, ethnicity, and socio-economic status. Making threats also qualifies as verbal bullying, even if the act is not carried out and is the highest percentage of bullying.

Cyberbullying – involves using technology to inflict harm. Types of technology are: cellular phones, tablets, laptops, digital cameras, and other similar gadgets. Hacking other’s webpage and altering its contents is also an example.

We need to have open lines of communication with our children and they need to know that we are here no matter what! TEENS…it might take you to open those lines of communication, but it’s worth it. You are in charge of your destiny, no matter how far off or unattainable that sounds, you are in charge of what your life will be like, and it’s up to you to make sure you are on the right path. You are strong and capable!

160,000 children skip school every day because they fear being attacked or intimidated by other students. Reports also confirm that bullying is starting at younger ages and is more frequent and aggressive than before. And the cruel behavior increases with age. Chances are your child may be bullied. Also troubling is that our children don’t always tell us that they have been bullied.

1. Unexplained physical marks, cuts, bruises and scrapes
2. Unexplained loss of toys, school supplies, clothing, lunches, or money
3. Clothes, toys, books, electronic items are damaged or missing or child reports mysteriously “losing” possessions
4. Doesn't want to go to school or other activities with peers
5. Afraid of riding the school bus
6. Afraid to be left alone: wants you there at dismissal, suddenly clingy
7. Suddenly sullen, withdrawn, evasive; remarks about feeling lonely
8. Marked change in typical behavior or personality
9. Difficulty sleeping, nightmares, cries self to sleep, bed wetting, headaches, stomachaches, visits to the school nurse
10. Change in eating habits
11. Begins bullying siblings or younger kids.
12. Suddenly has fewer friends or doesn't want to be with the “regular group”
13. Sudden and significant drop in grades.
14. Blames self for problems; feels “not good enough”
15. Talks about feeling helpless or about suicide; runs away.

Repeated bullying causes severe emotional harm and can erode a child’s self-esteem and mental health. Whether bullying is verbal, physical or relational, the long-term effects are equally harmful. Every child is different and any child can have an “off” day, so look instead of a pattern of behavior that is not typical for your child.

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