How to help when your child is bullied

Step in if your child is being bullied, recommends expert Patricia Evans.

Every parent dreads the thought that his or her child is being bullied, but not every parent understands what to do or even how to reach out to a child to find out. First, argues Patricia Evans, author of “Victory Over Verbal Abuse: A Healing Guide to Renewing Your Spirit and Reclaiming Your Life,” you need to watch for the warning signs.

“What you need to do is observe your children,” Evans says. She advises that you watch your children for behavior that seems out of the ordinary: If they’re more depressed lately, if they don’t want to go to school or if they’re closing their Facebook page when you walk by, for example.

When you decide to broach the subject, do so gently. Evans suggested that parents talk “after dinner, [and] just bring it up. ‘Do you notice any kids at school being bullied? Has anybody ever tried to put you down or call you names at school? Is there anything like that going on?’ Bring it out in the open,” she says.

If you notice the taunting taking a turn for the worse, don’t just sit back and assume that kids will be kids. Evans recommends getting involved.

“Talk to teachers,” advises Evans. “Talk to the principal. [See if they can] have a ‘no bullying, zero tolerance for bullying at this school’ [policy]. You really have to have the administration involved and the kids have to be in student counseling. You can’t just shame them in front of the school.”

Your child might be embarrassed to learn you’re taking the issue up with the school, but there are ways to make sure he or she is protected. Evans recommends asking for confidentiality when doing so, and giving the following script to your child: “There are some children with problems at your school, so I am going to talk to people who can establish a plan to help stop the bullying.”

Evans also suggests that children know how to defend themselves — nonviolently —when facing a bully.

She says to tell your kids: “If someone says something mean to you, look them in the eye — you might even point your finger at them — [and say] ‘That’s what YOU say.’”

Kids, she adds, should also know where to turn for help. “[Have them] think of five people that they could go to if they were being bullied.”

A bully’s mind

For bullies to become bullies, they have most likely experienced bullying at home from an older sibling or even a parent.
   
“People who bully are very disconnected inside,” Evans says. “They don’t feel centered, they don’t feel OK and they don’t feel like they can make friends.”

The Internet and bullying

The advent of technology has led to a new kind of bullying: abuse over the Web, on sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

Evans advises kids to “keep your social media private” and “report abuse.”?And let your statuses do the talking: “Keep a statement on your Facebook page: When people talk about people behind their back, they are usually lying.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.