Bullying can happen for a number of reasons; however research indicates that weight is more important than gender, race, and socioeconomic status in predicting who will be the target of bullying among third to sixth graders. In addition, obese preteens are more likely to be bullied than their normal weight peers.
“If your child confides in you that he or she is being bullied, take the problem seriously,” says Greg Ramey, PhD, pediatric psychologist at Dayton Children’s.
“Bullying shouldn’t be dismissed as the teasing we all experience throughout our lives. Half of our kids are victims of bullying, which can involve physical threats or verbal intimidation either in person or over the Internet.”
Children shouldn’t have to suffer with hurtful name calling, threats, rumors, and intimidation. Work with your child to develop positive strategies to deal with a bully.
“It’s hard for children to talk about this problem, so compliment your child for bringing this to your attention,” says Dr. Ramey, “Listen to your child and ask them to explain their feelings. Let them know that you understand their feelings and that it’s OK for them to feed ad or worried.”
Then, help your child figure out what may work in their situation, such as ignoring the bully, staying with group of friends, or avoiding situations where bullying typically occurs.
For more tips about bullying from Dr. Ramey visit our website.