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School Bullying Widespread

School Bullying Widespread
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  • Listen to your children. Get them to admit there is a problem.
  • Help them search for answers and express confidence that the problem can be solved. Don't expect them to work it out on their own.
  • Make it clear that it is not their fault.
  • If your child is harassed at school, encourage him or her to seek help from a teacher, principal, or other adult.
  • Intervene and show that bullying is not tolerated.
  • Get involved in their school and find out what programs are available to help prevent bullying.

The AMA also has a list of suggestions for parents to help their children from becoming bullies:

  • Look at your parenting practices. Model caring and empathetic relationships at home; model appropriate behavior, aggression control, and health temperament to your children.
  • Avoid use of physical punishment, harsh criticism, and violent emotional outbursts.
  • Note any disturbing behaviors such as frequent angry outbursts, fighting, and teasing of other children, cruelty to animals, fire setting, frequent behavior problems at school and in the neighborhood, lack of friends, and use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Seek help from a physician, school counselor, or qualified mental health professional when children display bullying or aggressive behaviors.

Finally, Davis says that zero tolerance for bullies has to be an across-the-board policy: bullies can't be tolerated at home, in school, or on the playing field, and children need assurance that when they seek help it won't make things worse.

"Children are often afraid to report bullies because they think that nothing will be done and as a result the bullying will continue but at an even more intense level. We need to get the message to children that they can seek help without fear of a worse outcome," says Davis.

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