Your child may be getting bullied if he or she:

• Has unexplained injuries;

• Has lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics or jewelry;

• Complains of frequent headaches or stomachaches;

• Frequently wants to stay home from school;

• Fakes an illness;

• Starts binge eating, skipping meals or coming home from school unusually hungry;

• Has difficulty sleeping or has nightmares;

• Experiences a decline in grades and/or loss of interest in schoolwork;

• Experiences a sudden loss of friends or wants to avoid social situations;

• Expresses feelings of helplessness or exhibits signs of lowered self-esteem; or

• Talks about running away from home, harming himself (including eating disorders) or talks about suicide.

Source: Provo School District

What should parents do?

• Pay attention. Some signs are obvious; others are not.

• Talk to your child, including asking direct questions.

• Check your child's phone and Facebook account regularly.

• Intervene as soon as you know there is a problem. Don't ignore it.

• Remain calm.

• Talk through healthy ways to cope and increase self-esteem to avoid your child becoming a bully in response to being bullied.

• Talk to your child's teachers and principal so appropriate action is taken.

Your child may be a bully if he or she:

• Appears to enjoy feeling powerful, in control, dominating or manipulating classmates;

• Equates being powerful and respected with fear;

• Is skilled at sneaky behavior;

• Blames others;

• Exhibits little compassion;

• Is frequently on the defensive;

• Behaves in a defiant and oppositional manner toward adults;

• Seeks unusual amount of attention and attracts it through negative behavior; or

• Displays impulsivity and lack of coping skills.

What should parents do?

• Talk to your child, including asking direct questions.

• Check your child's phone and Facebook account regularly.

• Communicate with compassion; don't accuse or bully.

• Teach your child anger management skills and how to interact with others.

• Provide opportunities for children to practice appropriate coping and social skills.

• Privately recognize improved behavior.

Source: Peter J. Goodman, "We're All Different But We're All Kitty Cats"

What should teachers and administrators do?

• Pay attention.

• Take complaints seriously.

• Intervene as soon as you know there is a problem.

• Remain calm. Do not engage with students.

• Deal with the participants individually, not as a group.

• Label the behavior as bullying. Make sure participants know it is unacceptable behavior.

• Hold bystanders accountable. Explain that they have a responsibility to stop bullying.

• Don't pre-judge. It is possible the person who appears to be the bully is a bullied student retaliating. Get as much information as possible.

• Get appropriate professional help.

• Become trained to handle bullying situations.

Source: National Education Association, nea.org/bullyfree

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