The warning signs of bullying
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Parents and experts talk about how to recognize the warning signs of a child who is being bullied or even becoming a bully.
Orlando Ojeda has already spoken to his 4th grade daughter about bullying.
In Riverdale, the problem hit home back in September when the body of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, who killed himself, was recovered in the Hudson River nearby.
"It does scare me a lot, especially because I strongly believe in the public education system, and in New York City, we've had such a problem, in some districts," Ojeda said.
So, would you pick up on the warning signs if your child was facing a bully at school?
Well, it depends greatly on both the parent and child.
"He'd speak up, I don't think I'd have to look too hard," said Michael Martin, a parent.
Experts say to look for things like: Increased passivity or withdrawal, frequent crying, unexplained bruises, a sudden change in their social life, and changes in the way your child talks, if he or she puts himself or others down, even a decline in the quality of their schoolwork, or simply, not wanting to go to school.
"Lots of times, kids don't talk about bullying. They're ashamed, they don't like to be seen as a victim, and so, parents sometimes are the last people to know," said Dr. Alan Hilfer, of Maimonides Medical Center.
There are certain factors that can lead to a child becoming a bully.
For example, if there are problems in the home, and if parents are aggressive or label others.
"And if they see, a dad being aggressive to a mom, aggression, if they're a boy, often becomes the way to behave," Dr. Hilfer said.
Also keep in mind, there are lots of differences between boys and girls, when it comes to bullying, boys tend to be more physical, and girls, more verbal.
"With gossip, with innuendo, with rumors being spread," Dr. Hilfer said.
Parents Eyewitness News talked to say they just hope the schools can teach kids more about conflict resolution.
"Because otherwise, it's just kind of a free-for-all on the playground, and as many aides and everybody that they have, trying to keep a handle on it, the kids need to learn the skills to control themselves," said Laura Last, a parent.
Kids also need to learn to speak up if they see bullies around them.
--- ONLINE RESOURCES:
ConnectSafely.org and the iKeepSafe Coalition have partnered to create A Parents' Guide to Facebook. The 35-page booklet and online resource is available for reading and printing at www.connectsafely.org/fbparents - provides parents with the perspective and how-to information they need to help their teens optimize their privacy and safety on Facebook.
Stop Bullying Now
New Jersey Bullying
Connecticut Commission on Children
Educator's Guide to Bullying
National Center for Bullying Prevention
Kids Health (Helping kids deal with bullies)
new york city, battling bullies, bullying, local news, stacey sager
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