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Bullying: Complex Social Problem That Hits Parents Hard
One evening twoِ weeks ago, Nancy Anderson Dolan’s 13-year-old son opened hisِ laptop andِ yelled likeِ he’dِ beenِ struck.
Dolan rushed toِ hisِ side andِ saw whatِ hadِ appalled herِ child: An expletive-filled message fromِ a child herِ son hasِ known forِ years, threatening toِ hurt him.
When a kid isِ bullied, manyِ parents sayِ they feel angry, frustrated andِ helpless.
Fear and worry
Parental worries overِ bullying wereِ inِ the national spotlight recently, withِ a Good Morning America feature onِ 7-year-old Samantha Shaw, whoِ gotِ cosmetic surgery toِ correct a minor ear deformity — largely, Shaw’s mother Cami Roselle told GMA, toِ prevent herِ daughter fromِ beingِ bullied.
I don’tِ want herِ to beِ teased andِ bullied andِ then haveِ her lash outِ andِ treat people theِ way she’sِ beingِ treated, Roselle said.
For Dolan, theِ bullying incident shook herِ perception ofِ herِ tight community andِ her son’s small private school.
Everybody needs a fresh start, Newman said. You become so negative and anxious.
How to deal
That anxiety canِ intensify whenِ parents run upِ againstِ unresponsive schools.
Eric Bergman, a communication consultant inِ suburban Toronto, saidِ heِ was disgusted whenِ anotherِ girl atِ his daughter’s middle school started psychologically bullying herِ with rumors andِ whisper campaigns.
Parents canِ take steps toِ protect theirِ children beforeِ bullying starts, saidِ Rene Hackney, a school andِ developmental psychologist forِ Parenting Playgroups, whichِ offers parent workshops inِ Alexandria, Va.
If a child does report bullying, Hackney said, parents should take it seriously.
Don’t thinkِ ofِ itِ as, ‘They’re alwaysِ telling,’ sheِ said.
No matter howِ upsetting thatِ news, bothِ Hackney andِ Swearer emphasize theِ needِ to stay collected forِ the child’s sake.
How parents react toِ theِ bullying canِ make itِ worse orِ makeِ itِ better..