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          Parenting

          Warning Signs of Bullying

          October 28, 2008

          Do you worry that your child is being harassed at school? Heed the following warning signs, adapted from Jay McGraw’s book, Jay McGraw’s Life Strategies for Dealing with Bullies:

          Bullying is:

          • Intentional, aggressive behavior
          • Imbalance of power
          • Repeated over time
          • Physical, verbal intimidation
          • Exclusion
          • Cyber harassment

          Warning signs that your child may be the victim of bullying:

          1. Makes up excuses not to go to school

          2. Is often angry, sad or depressed, withdrawn, self-loathing and emotionally erratic

          3. Frequently hurt by a particular person or group of people

          4. Frequently picked on in the presence of other people

          5. Mistakes are turned into a big deal by someone

          6. Belongings are often stolen or taken

          7. Always being confronted with lies/rumors

          How parents encourage bullying in their own children:

          • Exercise absolute control over child
          • Threaten the child with spankings or other violence
          • Attempt to humiliate or embarrass the child as a way to punish them
          • Rule by fear
          • Push competition and contest too much
          • Teach their child that mistakes are unacceptable
          • Tell their child what to say, do or think

          If your child is being picked on by a bully, sit down with him or her and go over this list of Do’s and Don’ts to keep them safe:

          1. Don’t get into a fistfight with a bully or try to retaliate in other ways.

          2. Don’t believe the insults about you.

          3. Don’t overestimate how much power a bully has over you.

          4. Don’t think that bullying will stop if you ignore it.

          5. Don’t waste time in places online where bullies target you.

          6. Don’t be afraid to think of new ways to solve the conflict.

          7. Don’t believe you deserve to be picked on.

          8. Do get real about bullying and how it makes you feel.

          9. Do get angry, but keep anger under control.

          10. Do write down how you feel.

          11. Do learn to say and believe good things about yourself.

          12. Do speak confidently when telling a bully not to physically touch you.

          13. Do work on developing at least one good relationship with a classmate, neighbor and/or older child.

          14. Do walk or run away if a bully tries to hurt you.

          Jay McGraw’s Life Strategies for Dealing with Bullies is available everywhere books are sold. Click here to purchase your copy!

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