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Bullying occurs once every seven minutes in schools across the country, reports the National Education Association. A staggering 90 percent of fourth through eighth graders report being victims of bullying, and it’s causing some 160,000 students to skip school each day.
Bullying is unwanted aggressive behavior that involves an imbalance of power. It’s not just physical. Bullying can be verbal, such as teasing or name calling, or social, such as leaving someone out or embarrassing someone. Bullying can cause serious, lasting problems for both bullies and victims, including school dropout, poor psychosocial adjustment and criminal activity. It is a real problem in our schools and communities. And it has to stop.
Bullying is learned. This means it can be unlearned or prevented. So how do you raise a kind kid, not a bully? Instilling strong moral values and character in children starts with you.
No matter what your family looks like and what kind of challenges you’re up against, it’s very possible to raise kind, morally-grounded kids. Always remember, your child needs you to be a parent, not a friend.
Are you worried your child is a victim of bullying? Read 10 steps to stop and prevent bullying.
Explore behavioral health resources, including counseling and programs for adolescents.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Learn how to get involved.
Julie Miaczynski, MD is a family medicine physician with Edward Medical Group.
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