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Ask questions if your child is being bulliedPosted Wednesday, August 24, 2011, at 2:17 PM
As I was reading an article entitled "Bullying Isn't All Bad," I was stunned. The title made me curious, so I continued to read.
The author had a preschool daughter, whom she believed was being bullied. The mother refused to be "THAT" mom, who constantly called and insisted justice to the principal and teachers when her daughter came home in tears frequently.
I may not have children, but I have spent some time in the classroom as a student teacher, I have been the subject of cruel remarks and I have nephews and a niece I love dearly.
It doesn't take physical bumps and bruises to define bullying. Bruises to the ego are just as painful, and tend to last much longer.
Being called hurtful names can alter personal perception, and lead to low self-esteem. If the kids on the playground or the bus poke fun at a girl standing a head above the rest, she might spend the rest of her life slouching instead of embracing who she is.
A young boy being judged because he matures much slower than the rest could look for destructive ways to make himself look older.
How much is too much? I wouldn't say run to the teacher every time someone takes a personal nudge at your child. The problem is when it becomes habitual. If your child comes home nightly in tears or has weekly stories of the mean kid picking on him or her, it is time to put your foot down.
Unfortunately, teachers cannot see everything that goes on in the classroom or on the playground. Maybe some just turn the other cheek, but I would hope that is not the case. Make sure you go through the proper chain of command, which may need to be decided through a parent-teacher conference.
As a child, the goal is to be liked by all the other kids on the playground, so when one starts teasing, others quickly join in. The taunting can have a serious emotional effect on children.
Even worse, with social media, the bullying does not stop at school. Name calling and vicious words can continue on networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.
Recently, cyber-bullying has taken it's toll on children and teenagers, too. It is easier for those cruel children and teenagers to personally attack online than in face-to-face altercations.
I am not suggesting you invade your child's privacy, or embarrassing them every time they come home upset.
Although, it is important to listen to your child and beware of their actions.
Ask questions until you get the truth, and don't just give up when they say, "I'm fine mom/dad." Actions speak louder than words.
Most kids get over the issues, but what about those that can't? They may not have the emotional support at home either, leaving them to feel like they have nowhere to turn.
If you know your child is the bully, step up and be the role model. Don't just sit back and let some child be tortured.
When another student's parent approaches you about bruised elbows or egos, don't assume yours is an angel. The right change in routine may be all it takes to show your disapproval of mean behavior.
Sabrina is a staff writer for the Greene County Daily World. She can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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