There’s Help if Your Child is Being Bullied

Bullying is a serious, insidious problem and will probably be with us until the end of time. That’s the bad news.

The good news, if there is any when it comes to bullying, is that bullying victims no longer have to suffer in silence. There is a focus on preventing bullying in our schools and the media and parents are much savvier about recognizing the signs and symptoms of bullying.

When I was a kid there didn’t seem to be much of an effort to stop bullying and I felt that it was something I needed to keep hidden lest I bring more attention to an already painful situation. I was picked on for several years in middle and high school because I took dance classes and performed in musicals. It wasn’t the type of thing deemed “normal” by the jocks that I hung out with while playing sports. It was a strange existence — being a teenager with a proclivity for the arts and athletics and an equal love of each. But in the eyes of my peers, I was weird. I was a kid without a country.

I’ve written articles each of the past three weeks on the topics. You can see them HEREHERE and HERE.

I survived bullying by retreating into my own world and with the love and support of close family and friends. I grew to depend on myself and those lessons have served my well throughout my life, even though they were forged in a cauldron of hateful words and threats.

As a father of two young kids, I pray that they never encounter bullying but I know that’s highly unlikely. Hopefully it will never rise to the level of something that causes them physical or emotional pain or causes them to consider suicide or violence. But, as parents, we must be aware of these issues and their potential outcomes. Unfortunately, it’s reality in the 21st century.

I searched and found a few websites regarding bullying that parents should familiarize themselves with.

This SITE — Stopbullying.gov — is government run and provides excellent tips and ideas for parents and kids to help avoid bullies and develop the self-confidence necessary to survive bullying.

This SITE — http://www.stompoutbullying.org — says they are “The Leading National Bullying and Cyberbullying Prevention Organization for Kids & Teens.”

Their goal is to prevent bullying of all forms while trying to teach “effective solutions on how to respond to all forms of bullying; as well as educating kids and teens in school and online, providing help for those in need and at risk of suicide, raising awareness, peer mentoring programs in schools, public service announcements by noted celebrities, and social media campaigns.”

When you are being bullied it is a lonely, isolating time. You question who your true friends are, whether you can be your true self and whether you constantly have to act like someone you’re not.

The bottom line is that there is help available — whether it’s from parents, at your child’s school or from another resource in your community. If your child is a victim of bullying, talk to them about it, find help and stay on top of it until your child feels safe and comfortable. We owe that to them and, thankfully, there are plenty of people and organizations willing to help.

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