BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Do you know if your child is being bullied at schools?
Experts say it’s an important conversation every parent needs to have with their children.
The idea that bullying is just a part of growing up is a common misconception.
It can lead to serious consequences like depression, sickness, missing school and having suicidal thoughts.
“Bullying is a systematic and targeted attack on your child,” UAB psychologist Dr. Josh Klapow said. “It can be physical. It can be emotional, but it is a relentless attack that can have very serious psychological and physical consequences.”
Klapow has a few tips he considers dos and don’ts.
Don’t tell your child to ignore the situation, because they may not feel you take it seriously and won’t tell you if the situation gets worse.
Also, don’t encourage retaliation, which could make the situation worse.
Don’t contact the parents of the bully. Although it’s a natural instinct, it often leads to miscommunication and further bullying of your child.
Parents are encouraged to get information about the situation – names, dates, times and location.
Praise your child for the courage to talk about it.
Keep your emotions in check. Even though it’s natural to want to retaliate.
Contact the school. The bullying will only stop if the school is involved.
Lastly, give your child strategies for being safe, such as going to an adult.
2014 WIAT-TV CBS42