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

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…

Local

Brewer celebrates Women's Equality Day with voter pledge

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer celebrated Women’s Equality Day Tuesday by pledging to register at least five women voters before the Oct. 10 deadline. Brewer…

Local

NYPD looking for lewd D train rider

The NYPD is enlisting the public’s help to find a man they say performed a lewd act on the D train Saturday evening. The incident…

Entertainment

QUIZ: How many English words do you actually…

Are you as smart as you say you are? Are you a word nerd? Take this quick vocabulary test to find out if you're a true wordsmith. Good luck.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 12,…

If you've wondered whether Ali and Bethany knew each other, you got an answer tonight: Yes, and in a very tangled way. But many lingering…

Entertainment

Cymbals Eat Guitars Have Everything to 'LOSE'

At its most basic level, a rock band can be thought of as a family, a group of people selflessly devoted to a cause. When…

Entertainment

"Bachelor in Paradise" recap: Episode 4, 'Week Four'

Some things are hard to watch in a “Human Centipede” sort of way. Other things in an “American History X” sort of way. Does “Bachelor…

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.

Travel

Most popular Labor Day weekend destinations

Priceline.com released its Top 20 destinations for the end of summer, including Labor Day weekend. If you’re heading to any of these spots, expect a…

Wellbeing

Working your way to type 2 diabetes: Job…

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, a stressful job can be as risky for your health as a bad diet and no exercise. A…