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Bullying: What Parents Should Know

Updated on June 6, 2017

What Is A Bully

A bully is someone who uses strength, or power to harm, or intimidate those who are weaker. Typically to force him or her to do what the bully wants.

Bullying includes physical threats or violence; name-calling and teasing; and social attacks on someone. Bullies can bully others directly, in person; or indirectly, such as by gossiping, through any form of communication including talking on the phone, writing, texting, and emailing. Bullying occurs in schools, sports, youth groups, workplaces, and even senior centers,

From The Start Of Life

I think everyone at one time or another has been bullied. Bullying has been around since life on this planet has been. You can see bullying in most all animals like monkeys, dogs, cats, to even elephants and dolphins.

There are a lot of theory to why bullies bully, everything from a need for power, to a lack of power. No one knows for sure what makes someone a bully, but bullying can affect anyone, from husband to wife, or wife to husband, child to parent, or parent to child, in schools, online or in the office. It does not matter your age, wealth, sex, or religion anyone can fall prey to a bully.

With the onslaught of recent news of schoolyard fights, killings, and child suicide attempts because of bullying. It has become a parent's biggest fear that their child is being bullied or are maybe even the bully them self.


How To Tell If Your Child Is Being Bullied

With statics like:

It is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. Source: National Education Association.

1 in 5 Students in Grades K-12 is either a bully or a victim of bullying.

283,000 students are physically attacked in secondary schools each month.

87% of 4th through 8th graders report being victims of bullying

Harassment and bullying have been linked to 75% of school-shooting incidents.

1 in 10 students drops out or changes schools because of repeated bullying.

35% of kids have been threatened online. Nearly 1 in 5 have had it happen more than once.

60% have not told their parents or an adult about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online.

It is necessary that parents know the signs of a child being bullied, because in more cases than not your child will not tell you if they are being bullied.

These signs are not limited to bullying. These could also be signs of something else going on with your child, but if any of the signs are present in your child or teen you need to take them time to look into it further.

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

4. The child does not want to go to school.

5. The child is afraid of riding the school bus
6. Marked change in behavior or personality

7. Seems to be sad, moody, angry, anxious or depressed and that mood lasts with no known cause

8. Complaints of headaches, stomachaches, with frequent visits the school nurse’s office

9. Difficulty sleeping, nightmares, cries self to sleep, bed wetting

10. Change in eating habits

11. Sudden and a significant drop in grades.

12. The child feels like he or she is not good enough

13. Talks about feeling helpless, or about suicide, or runs away

Signs Your Kid is Being Bullied


What To Do If You Suspect Bullying But Are Not Sure

If your child has any of the signs of being bullied you need to talk with them, to find out for sure. Most kids will not come out and tell you that they are being bullied, it is your job as a parent to find out.

While you are talking to your child, watch and see how they react to each question. Try to notice if they look as though they are hiding something, or leaving out something. Do not blow off what your child says as regular peer to peer fighting or regular schoolyard issues. It might not be, and it is better to jump the gun and be wrong than to do nothing when it comes to bullying. Truly listen and understand what your child is telling you, be supportive, uplifting, and most of all reassuring. Do not let your personal feelings get in the way. If you find out that your child is being bullied, do not fly off the handle as this might close commutation with the child for later times. Stay calm, be supportive, and take action.

Ask a question, this is the only way to find out for sure if your child is being bullied.
You can ask questions like these below every day to judge how your child is doing.

Did any good things happen to you today? Anything bad?
How was lunch time? Did any exciting happen?
How was the bus ride to school?
What do you like best about yourself?

If any red flags are raised, you can talk to your child about bullies to make sure they understand what bullies are, and that they can talk to you if they have an issue.

Questions to ask to start a conversation about bullies:

Talk about what bully are like. Why do you think people bully?
Whom do you trust to talk to when it comes to things like bullying?
Have you ever felt scared to go to school because you were afraid of bullying?
How can I help to stop the bullying?
What do you, and your friends usually do when you see bullying?
Have you ever tried to help someone who is being bullied? What happened?

If you are not getting anything out of your child, but you still think something is going on, do not be afraid to talk to friends and classmate.


Poll On Bulling

Where You Ever Bullied? If So Did You Get Help?

See results

What To Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied

If your child tells you, or you find out that your child is being bullied, there are steps you can take to stop it.

  1. Listen to the child as he or she tells you about being bullied. Find out who was involved and what happened, and if it has happened more than once.
  2. Learn all you can from your child, did other kids or even adults see it? How was he or she bullied? Where did it happen? Was it before, after or during school hours, or was it on the bus or walk home or to school?
  3. Let your child know it is not his or hers fault. That it is a good thing they told you and that bullying is wrong.
  4. Ask your child if he or she has any Ideas on how to stop it.
  5. Let he or she know you are going to do something about it, and they know longer need to worry about it. Also, let your child know what you are planning on doing.
  6. This is the hard one for most parents but contact the school. Let them know that your child is being bullied, and what has happened. Most bullying will not stop without adults getting involved, and most schools have anti-bullying programs, to aid you and your child.
  7. If your school does not have one already, talk to your school about starting a no bullying program, and if your school has one, join it.
  8. The bullying should stop. Keep talking to your child to make sure it has.

Dr. Phil: What To Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied


Why I Care

Not only do I have 3 kids myself that I have had to chase a few bullies away from. When I was in High school, I was bullied severely. Not only at school but home as well as my bully only lived 2 house down from me.

I grew up homeschooled, until my 6th-grade year. When I was two years of age I had an accident that left me with a speech disorder, that was bad back then. Now it just sounds like an accent from well a bit of everywhere. I was 5’4 and maybe 105 lbs with very long black hair and pale skin. I was always picked on and teased, but my bully did not show up until 9th grade.
I would be made fun of the way I talked, the way I dressed, and was called Wednesday Adams.
I had a love for gymnastics and cheerleading, and my bully found out, and use to beat me up for trying out for the cheerleading team almost every day, as well as call me worthless and a lot of other names I cannot post here. She would put gum in my hair every day on the school bus, and I would come home and spend hours having my mom put peanut butter in my hair trying to remove it without cutting my hair.

It got to the point I would no longer ride that school bus and would walk blocks away to catch a different one. I started running away during the summer so I would not have to see her, and at the end of my 10th-grade year, I dropped out of school. There were times where I honestly feared for my life as she had threatened it many times. I did tell my parents, but they told me just to ignore it and move on, which was not an option.

Because of the bullying, I faced as a child. I do not tolerate bullying in my home, or around my kids. My kids know and understand if they are ever bullied, or know someone who is all they have to do is tell me, and I will take care of it.

While bullying may always be around, it is nothing you can find a cure for, you can make sure you child knows your home is safe, and that it is OK to talk to about anything.

Hang In There It Dose Get Better!!!!



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    • Down South Mama profile image

      Brenda 4 years ago from Florida

      It really is heart breaking Beth37, when all it takes to stop it, is taking to your kids, and being aware to what is going on with him or her. I hope as more parents become aware of bullying, that less kids will end up losing there life because of it Thanks for taking the time to read my hub.

    • profile image

      Beth37 4 years ago

      This is a heart breaking event. You've done a really good job presenting this ugly phenomenon... unbelievable that it's actually ending in death. Cyber bullying must be stopped... all bullying really, destroys futures.