Bullying has always been a prevalent issue but its seriousness isn’t always handled properly. Anyone, at any age, can become a victim of bullying. This type of abuse leads to more than just a black eye. Bullying extends beyond physical aggression and reaches mental and emotional abuse. The scars that that bullying leaves can affect the health and wellbeing of your child. It’s important for parents to understand this issue and how to take action against it.
According to Children’s National Medical Center, even one incident of bullying can scar someone, especially if the victim is sensitive and has dealt with bullying in the past. It also isn’t limited to physical environments. With the rise of social media, cyber bullying has become commonplace amongst children and teens. The symptoms that can occur as a result of bullying can impact both a child’s physical and mental health.
How Can I Tell Whether or Not My Child is Being Bullied?
You may notice that your child has frequent health complaints, such as backaches, headaches, stomachaches, and injuries that need medical attention. Furthermore, your child may become depressed or suffer from anxiety, irritability, and difficulties with their sleep patterns. Not all signs of abuse come in the form of bruises or cuts, so it’s important to pay close attention to any changes in your child’s behavior.
Due to stress and fear of repeated events of bullying, your child may also skip class, not put much effort into academics and tests, and possibly drop out of school altogether.
What Can I Do to Stop Bullying?
It’s important to establish and nurture an open line of communication between you and your children. In addition to discussing bullying with your child, respect and acceptance of others and their differences should be encouraged. Certain groups in society are at higher risk of becoming victims of bullying due to their disabilities, or merely because of how they look.
Even children who aren’t victims themselves, but witness bullying, are at risk of developing mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. They may also skip school to avoid the issues at hand.
As a parent, it’s crucial to encourage your children to speak up about their experiences being bullied. Also, make sure they know that being bullied is not in any way their fault. If he or she has a nurturing environment in which they feel safe and comfortable, they are more likely to be open about their abuse. If your child is a victim of bullying, it’s important to reach out to their teachers at school, other parents, and possibly a physician if you suspect the damage of bullying has extended to affecting their mental health.
At Family First Pediatrics, our goal is to make sure your children are healthy, happy, and safe. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Selsky, call us today or request an appointment online.