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Bullying warning signs and ways to help your child

Approximately 160,000 children miss school every day in the United States for fear of being bullied; more


than 50 suicides have been linked to prolonged bullying; and approximately 85 percent of school shootings have revenge against bullies as a major motive, according to Dr. Ted Zeff, a practicing psychologist and author based in San Ramon, Calif.

The costs of bullying are high. Unfortunately, many children suffer alone, keeping their bullying experiences to themselves. Dr. Zeff provides parents with six warning signs that their child is being bullied.

Warning signs of bullying:

  • Is your child disconnecting from people and isolating him/herself in their room? Although teens usually separate from the family, they normally connect more often with their friends.
  • Has your child developed physical problems such as stomachaches and headaches that interfere with their life?
  • Has your child’s schoolwork recently suffered, and is it difficult for your child to concentrate?
  • Does your child have trouble falling or staying asleep or experience frequent nightmares?
  • Does your child seem listless, unenthusiastic, and uninterested in life?
  • Have you noticed that your child seems hypervigilant, extremely nervous, depressed, or emotionally explosive (beyond the normal teenage angst and moodiness)?

If you suspect your child is getting bullying, here are ways to help:

  • Talk to your child and if have not been able to help alleviate their suffering, seek professional help
  • having your child evaluated by a licensed psychologist
  • talking to a licensed marriage and family counselor
  • or a licensed social worker
  • If you can’t afford to pay for private therapy sessions, virtually all cities have low-cost therapy clinics (check with your city or county department of mental health).

(Source: PTA Parent January 2011 newsletter and compiled by EdNews Parent intern Christina Onpeng)

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