Stand up to bullying

465275149Now that school has been back in session for a few months, there’s a good chance your child has run into trouble in the classroom. If that’s the case, bullying could be at the root of your child’s problem. Twenty-five percent of youth report they are bullied with some frequency and 20 percent report that they bully others. Exact statistics are hard to come by. Bullying victims often have trouble talking about their experience. Unexplained physical symptoms like stomach aches and headaches can come from bullying. Bullied victims are twice as likely to have physical symptoms as the non-bullied. If you child is being bullied:

  • Contact the adult who is supervising the activity (teacher, coach etc.), if a child is 11 or under.
  • If the child is 12 or over, discuss strategies of self-assertion. Problem solve with your child.
  • If your child is routinely passive and submissive, consider counseling/therapy for your child.

Our culture and, more importantly, our families must make it clear that bullying is unacceptable. What can you do to keep you child from becoming a bully?

  • Model respect and conflict resolution for your child in your family relationships.
  • If your child has engaged in bullying, make it clear, immediately and in the strongest way possible, that bullying will not be tolerated.

Bullying often is initiated because of peer pressure. It can also be ended through peer influence. Appealing to teens’ desire to meet a challenge can be helpful by commenting on the courage it takes to stand up to bullying. Additional resources StopBullying.gov National Bullying Prevention Center

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About Allan Josephson, M.D.

Allan M. Josephson, M.D., is CEO of the Bingham Clinic and Division Chief of Child, Adolescent and Family Psychiatry at University of Louisville School of Medicine where he is a professor. He is also a physician with UofL Physicians. Dr. Josephson received his medical degree from the University of Alberta, Canada and Psychiatry Residency and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency at the University of Minnesota. His interests are the psychiatric treatment of adolescents, family therapy and psychiatry and spirituality. He has increasingly been involved in forensic consultation.

All posts by Allan Josephson, M.D.