Did you know? Only 1 in 10 students who are bullied will inform a parent or trusted adult of the problem. October is National Bullying Prevention Month. We have put together some common signals a child is being bullied or cyberbullied and some recommendations on how a parent can address the problem with their child.
Bullying and cyber bullying take many forms. Snapchat, Instagram, and even video games have become a common way for teens to bully others. When parents become aware of bullying incidents on social networking sites, it is important to have the right tools and know what steps to take to combat the problem.
One of the many common signs that a child is a victim of bullying is a shift in actions and attitude. They may become withdrawn or quiet in social settings, which can lead to anxiety or depression if left unaddressed. Other signs of a child being cyberbullied are a shift in eating or sleeping habits. If sleeping in becomes a routine, it is recommended that a parent check in to make sure their child isn’t staying up all night because they are being bullied.
Other times when a child is bullied behaviors can shift in the opposite direction. As a result of being bullied, children and teens can begin to act out and mimic bully-like behaviors. Occasional refusal to complete household chores or making fun of others can sometimes be chalked up to teenage hormones, but if this type of behavior becomes the norm; it is natural to question where it is coming from and why they suddenly believe these behaviors are acceptable.
What can parents do if they fear their child is being bullied? Start by having an open and honest conversation and make a plan to remove them from the situation. Encourage your child to track and save all conversations where bullying occurs in case you choose to report it to your school or the authorities later. Make sure your child has the courage and support to resist the urge to retaliate.
Parents may seem like the “bad guy” when taking away cell phones or video game privileges, but it is important to cut off the source of the bullying. If the problem persists, it is recommended to contact school officials.
PA Virtual Charter School provides comprehensive support for families, including guidance counselors that frequently work with children who have been bullied prior to enrollment.
If you are interested in learning more about PA Virtual Charter School, please visit http://pavirtual.com.