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04/05/2019 What parents need to know about bullying – Paid Post - Los Angeles Times

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What parents need to know


about bullying
By BPT
OCT 01, 2018 | 3:30 PM
  

Unfortunately, bullying in schools is all too common. According to StopBullying.gov,


between 1 in 4 and 1 in 3 U.S. students say they have been bullied at school. While the
term "bullying" has certainly become a buzz word, it's also important to understand
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what it means. The Centers QUALITY
for Disease ControlNEWS
and Department of Education define it
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04/05/2019 What parents need to know about bullying – Paid Post - Los Angeles Times
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as a pattern of unwanted aggressive behavior that causes physical or psychological
harm.

"As a high school counselor for over 10 years, I've witnessed bullying and its impacts in
different ways — from working with administrators and teachers to put a stop to it in
classrooms, to supporting parents and students as they attempt to heal and find the
best path forward," said Carol Heavin, a school counselor for Arkansas Virtual Academy
who has been in education for 28 years.

National Bullying Prevention Month is a reminder for all of us to think about how we
can help stop this behavior in our schools. One of the best ways to help prevent bullying
is to empower parents with useful advice, including warning signs to watch for, tips on
how to talk to your kids about bullying and information on where to go for help.
Because the long-term effects of bullying can be serious for a child, a parent's actions
and support can help protect them from harm. Heavin offers the following warning signs
and tips:

Warning signs

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As a parent, you know your children well and what to expect from them. While some
changes in behavior can be noticeable or sudden, others can be hard to spot.

If you suspect your childSUPPORT


is a victimQUALITY
of bullying,NEWS
watch for these warning signs:
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* Change in your child's attitude or visible loss of confidence; this includes nonverbal
and verbal changes, from how they carry themselves (dejected, slumped posture) to
expressing suicidal thoughts

* Any unexplained, physical bruising or injuries

* Withdrawing from usual hobbies and interests

* Change in dress

* Change in friend group or sudden loss of friends

How to talk to your kids

If you notice these warnings and suspect your child could be a victim of bullying,
talking to your child is a critical step to understanding what is happening and building
trust. Keep these things in mind as you decide how and when to talk to your child:

* Be available to your child and schedule at least one weekly family dinner or outing to
connect and check in

* Ask your child about their day, every day, to keep the lines of communication open

* Find a time to talk to your child in a relaxing environment, such as listening to music,
watching a sports game or doing an art project together

* Start the conversation with your child with topics that interest and build a rapport
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* As hard as it may be, don't TRIAL


push them to| share
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share; however, consistent reminders that you are available to talk are important cues
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After you've identified warning signs, and you believe that your child is a victim of
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bullying at school, there are a few things you should consider and keep top of mind.
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* Take a deep breath and stay as calm as possible

* Document as many details as you can from your child, including what is being said or
done to them, who may have witnessed the repeated behavior, etc.

* Speak to the school administration, sharing as many documented details as you can

* Ensure your child is a part of an environment that uplifts them (i.e., church events,
sports, other clubs)

* If possible, remove them from the bullying situation and consider other academic
opportunities, such as a tuition-free online public school

Children can be cruel, and adults simply can't chaperone 24-7. For this reason, many
times schools don't find out about bullying until it's been taking place for a long time.
Students are embarrassed and uncomfortable speaking freely about what's been
happening to them. By following this advice, you're already helping to stop bullying and
protect your child. For more information, visit www.stopbullying.gov.

For more information on tuition-free, online public schools, visit: www.k12.com.

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