According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a bully or a victim of bullying puts children at risk for engaging in violent behaviors and fighting. To determine whether your child is bullied or bullying, symptoms include:
• Significant anxiety
• Dreading school
• Poor performance at school
• Poor self-esteem
• Major changes at home or school
If your child is a victim of bullying, parental support and involvement is key to solving the problem. Sometimes children are embarrassed to talk about bullies because it makes them feel weak. You may start by staying involved with your child’s day-to-day occurrences at school, their interactions with friends and their internet activities.
Make sure to address the signs early. Communicate with your child that they are not at fault. Encourage your child to communicate and resolve conflicts verbally, not physically, as violence results in new troubles. If your child is afraid to handle the situation with the bully, reach out to a teacher or a school counselor for advice.
If your child is bullying, set the tone that bullying is not permitted. Talk with your child to discover possible reasons of bullying, including sadness, anger, changes at home or school, jealousy or insecurities. Put your child in the victim’s shoes and encourage empathy.
No parent wants to hear that their child is a victim of bullying or a bully themselves. Communication with your child is key to preventing bullying and the negative side effects.
For more information on bullying troubles, contact the Family Resource Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital by calling 314-454-KIDS (5437) and pressing “5,” or visit StLouisChildrens.org.
For over 130 years, Children's Hospital and its Washington University School of Medicine physician partners have remained a resource for pediatric health and wellness for the St. Louis region and beyond.
They provide care in every pediatric specialty — from fetal care through adolescence. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked St. Louis Children's Hospital in all 10 specialties, the only children's hospital in Missouri to earn this distinction. Their Level One Pediatric Trauma Center is nationally verified by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the highest national recognition possible.
Call 314-454-KIDS (5437) to find a pediatrician or pediatric specialist, or to register for a class or event. Learn more at StLouisChildrens.org, member BJC Healthcare.
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