There is not much parents can do to prevent their child from becoming the victim of bullying. 15-25% percent of students report being bullied with some frequency. Often victims are chosen for reasons outside of their control, such as physical appearance, disability, sexual orientation, perceived sexual orientation, actual or perceived sexual expression, jealously, and on and on. The effects of being bullied include a negative impact on academics, anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. The rash of suicides of bullying victims reported by the media recently highlight the importance of providing support and care to those who are bullied. The following seven tips can help:
1. Know the signs. Torn clothing, missing belongings, insomnia, anxiety, stomachaches, headaches and moodiness, sadness or tearfulness when leaving or coming home from school are signs that your teen may be the victim of bullying. If you recognize any of these signs, talk to your child and let them know you are concerned.