The Bullying Epidemic

By Jenna DeRosa 

verified by Psychology Today

Bullying is a social crisis.

The impact of social media has catapulted bullying into a 24 hour a day problem for youth.  Each teenager has a unique and different experience, but all have one thing in common, psychological pain. Ignoring and postponing treatment can cause long-term and life-altering effects for your teenager. Those who have been the victim of bullying can develop depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and more.  Every day a young person feels victimized damages their sense of self.

How to recognize if your child is being bullied:

  • Injuries that your child cannot explain
  • The child becoming ill and wanting to skip school
  • Headaches, stomach aches
  • Difficulty sleeping or having frequent nightmares
  • Declining grades, loss of interest in school
  • Isolating from friends and family
  • Harming themselves
  • Helplessness or decreased self-esteem
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Sudden changes in friend groups

What can parents do?

  • Be aware of the signs listed above
  • Provide a place for your child to feel safe
  • Do not judge your child’s experience
  • Allow for your child to feel heard and cared for
  • Validate their feelings
  • Help them problem solve
  • Contact teachers, school counselor, principal, or superintendent to notify and bring awareness to the issue
  • Provide access to counseling

 

What can kids do?

  • Surrounding yourself with positive friendships
  • Avoid isolation
  • Seek assistance from teachers and counselors
  • Be an advocate for yourself
  • Be assertive
  • Talk with parents
  • Remind yourself of your positive qualities
  • Limit yourself from social media

 

What can counselors do?

  • Provide an outlet to talk about insecurities and struggles
  • Provide a place for the individual to feel safe, heard and valued
  • Work on confidence and building self-worth
  • Address symptoms of depression or anxiety
  • Monitor suicidal thoughts and develop safety plans
  • Teach assertiveness skills
  • Increase healthy coping skills
  • Work with the school to support the victim

Websites:

National anti-bullying website:  www.stopbullying.gov

Colorado specific bullying prevention site:  www.cde.state.co.us/mtss/bullying

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