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
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…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

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

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

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.