At the park, a boy twice my daughter's age called her a "bit**" and threw sand in her face. She's 4. If this type of incident occurs at our local playground while the kids are accompanied by parents and nannies, what happens once they head off to school on their own? A recent report in the San Francisco Chronicle took a look at the serious repercussions of bullying — a first grader suffering a head fracture after being slammed into a tree and an eighth grader committing suicide. The statistics are just as alarming as the stories. It said:
According to the American Medical Association, an estimated 160,000 children a day refuse to go to school for fear of being bullied, often claiming headaches or stomachaches, which they may in fact be experiencing as a symptom of stress and anxiety.
To see how parents can help their offspring deal with this issue,
As children concern themselves with hitting the books, parents can help ease the stress of bullying for their children by being aware, playing an active role, and being advocates.
Experts say it is important for schools and parents to pay attention. "Bullying is abuse," said Savage. "Parents need to protect their kids. If they don't, it's neglect. They can't just take the attitude that it's going to get better. They need to contact the school if it happens in school, and they need to be on the lookout for a change in behavior or signs of depression, which can indicate a child is being bullied. And they need to have a talk and tell their kids, 'If you feel unsafe, please come talk to us.'"
Has your child been bullied?