National Bullying Prevention Month

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. The campaign was founded in 2006 by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center and unites communities nationwide to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention.

According to PACER, In the past, bullying had been viewed as “a childhood rite of passage” that “made kids tougher”, but bullying can have long term effects on children including low self-esteem, increased anxiety, and depression.

There are warning signs parents should be aware of if their child is being bullied, however, not all children who are bullied exhibit warning signs. Stopbullying.gov suggests parents look for these signs that may point to bullying:
 
  • Unexplainable injuries
  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
  • Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
  • Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
  • Self-destructive behavior such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide
It’s also important to recognize if your child is the bully. Warning signs that your child may be bulling others are:
 
  • Getting into physical or verbal fights
  • Have friends who bully others
  • Are increasingly aggressive
  • Get sent to the principal’s office or to detention frequently
  • Have unexplained extra money or new belongings
  • Blame others for their problems
  • Don’t accept responsibility for their actions
  • Are competitive and worry about their reputation and popularity
A study done in 2012 from the Indicators of School Crime and Safety reported that an adult was notified in less than half (40 percent) of bullying incidents. There are many reasons kids don’t tell adults such as:
 
  • Bullying can make a child feel helpless and kids may want to handle it on their own to feel in control again
  • Kids may fear backlash from the kid who bullied him
  • Bullying can be a humiliating experience and kids may not want adults to know what is being said about them
  • Kids who are bullied already feel socially isolated and feel like no one cares or could understand
  • Kids may fear being rejected by their peers
Bullying is a significant problem nationwide. Schools, teachers, and parents can play a critical role in creating an environment where bullying is not tolerated.