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Children and Bullying

|Parents And Guardians - Are You Aware Articles
Niki Smidt

As a parent, you are likely to hear children telling on each other: “Mom! Jimmy’s picking on me again,” or “Sally called me a name.” You may brush this off as typical behavior for a child. But, do you know how to recognize when it is  more than that? When the name calling and teasing goes too far? Bullying can be a serious issue for young children when it becomes more than  the typical sibling rivalry or two friends teasing each other while they play catch.

Bullying is never acceptable. As a parent, it is important to recognize the signs and understand what steps you can take to help your child if you think he is being bullied.  

Below is information adapted from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration’s Stop Bullying educational campaign at http://www.stopbullying.gov.

 Your child may be a victim of bullying if he:

  • Comes home with torn, damaged or missing clothing, books, or belongings.
  • Has unexplained bruises, cuts, or scratches.
  • Seems afraid of going to school, walking to and from school, riding the bus, or being a part of organized activities with peers.
  • Appears to be sad, moody, teary, or depressed when he gets home.
  • Appears anxious or suffers from low self-esteem.

 How you can support your child, or others being bullied:

  • Focus on the child. Be supportive and get all of the information about the situation. Let the your child know you are concerned.
  • Contact the child’s teacher or the school principal. He or she may have a better idea about the child and his peers and how they interact.
  • Take action. If you feel the child is being bullied, make sure to act on your concerns. Studies show that bullying can have long-term negative effects on children.  

The behaviors connected to bullying are typically not one-time instances. Rather, they are behaviors that have a tendency to be repeated. As a result, prevention programs are able to focus on some of the patterns that occur and work to minimize bullying that takes place. As a parent, you can contact your child’s school to see how you can become involved in their prevention programs.

For additional information and resources, go to:

Stop Bullying (resources for both children and parents)



National Crime Prevention Council



Eyes on Bullying



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