National Bullying Prevention Month :: Know the Signs

Every day, thousands of young people around the world experience bullying from their peers while at school, after school in their neighborhoods, when they are at home, and even through social media and texts.  Adolescents who are picked on by bullies find that it can be fearful or emotionally damaging to attend school.  October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Let’s begin with some basics about bullying.

What is Bullying?

According to the American Society for the Positive Care of Children {SPCC}, bullying is ‘Unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated or has the potential to be repeated over time.’ In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include: an imbalance of power and repetition.

Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

Some Statistics on Bullying

  • 160,000 kids per day skip school for fear of being bullied.
  • When bystanders intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds 57% of the time.
  • 30% of youth admit to bullying
  • 1 in 3 students are bullied at school
  • 70% have witnessed bullying

We, as parents, must stop and first evaluate ourselves on this very difficult yet very real situation that our children are facing. Children learn what they live and they pick up comments and behaviors from the important adults in their lives. Here are some key behaviors to watch for if your child is being bullied or is a bully.

Signs a Child is being Bullied

  • unexplained injuries
  • lost or destroyed clothing / jewelry / books / electronics
  • frequent headaches / stomach aches / feeling ill or faking illness
  • changes in eating habits
  • difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • declining grades / loss of interest in school work / not wanting to go to school
  • sudden loss of friends or avoiding social interactions
  • feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
  • self destructive behaviors

Signs a Child is Bullying Others

  • gets into physical / verbal fights
  • have friends who are bullies
  • increasingly aggressive
  • gets sent to the principal’s office or detention frequently
  • unexplained extra money or new belongings
  • blame others for their problems
  • doesn’t accept responsibility for their actions

Be a leader in preventing bullying in your neighborhood and school. Be positive, be kind and be an upstander. For more information about National Bullying Prevention Month, visit stopbullying.gov for more resources.

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Angelica, also lovingly referred to as Angel, is a wife to her high school sweetheart, Oscar, and the young couple finally tied the knot in June of 2004. After struggling with infertility for seven years, they welcomed their first child, Gideon {January 2012}, and in three short years they welcomed Annabelle {2013}, Deacon {2014} and Jubilee {2015}. In the summer of 2016, Angel’s oldest child was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which she continues to educate herself about by reading books, listening to podcasts and attending local classes and training events. When Angel isn’t busy tackling home duties and juggling her children’s activities, she enjoys taking self-defense classes at Krav Maga Houston, which she has been attending since moving to Houston in November 2016. She also loves coffee, reading, and meeting new people. Angel strives to live out 1 John 3:16 daily and loves talking and teaching others about what that means.

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