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Moms Q&A: How to Talk to Your Child About Bullying

Be part of the discussion on a weekly question posed by the Patch Moms Council.

Once a week on Lynbrook Patch, we're going to post Moms Q&A, an interactive feature in which village moms can discuss, debate or brainstorm parenting ideas with fellow parents.

Our Lynbrook Patch Moms Council, currently comprised of three Lynbrook mothers, will help get the conversation started. All residents are welcome to comment, though we do ask that all commenters be courteous and respectful of one another.

This week's question is about bullying: How to recognize it, how to talk to your child about it, and how to help your child deal with the bullies in his or her life.

Scroll down this page to see the comments.

Julie O'Connell March 12, 2011 at 10:40 PM
The scary part is that a bully can easily hide in plain sight and may often be a child who you think it could never be. The best thing you can do is talk to your children. Know what is going on in their lives and be ready to recognize the signs of it. Children will often withdraw from situations where a bully is present or not want to participate in parties, etc. Bullies come in all shapes and sizes and are all ages. I think as parents we have to try hard to fill our children with the self-confidence to handle a bully and hope they can resolve issues on their own. However, it is important to remember that the second safety or well being plays a role...it is time to intervene. Don't wait until your child is in an unhealthy situation. A good way to start if you suspect something happening in school, start with your child's teacher. They are often aware if things are happening in their classroom. Sometimes the teacher talking to the bully can squash what is happening. Although my children are young, I know this very real and can happen anywhere to anyone.
Maura Bermiss March 13, 2011 at 08:18 PM
Having conversations is the best way to figure out if something like bullying is taking place with your child.Getting to know normal behavior will give you clues that maybe everything is not okay at school or activities outside of school. If your child starts to act out of the ordinary you can ask them what might be going on with them that is making them change their behavior. Chiildren are never eager to share that people are bulllying them for fear the bullies will find out they told. Having conversations about bullying or being a bully should be spoken about hopefully before it happens. Now the lines communication are open and your child recognizes the signs of bullying and can stand up for himself and share the problem with you. On the flip side you don't want to raise a bully either. Teaching your children to respect others and accept people for who they are what they look like and what they believe in at an early age will hopeully ward off bullying behavior. A bully can show signs very early on. As parents we must not condone this behavior even at age 2 or 3. Teaching moments happen everyday and as parents we should take the opportunity to point out both good and bad behavior and show our children that bullying is not an acceptable way to behave.
Jacqueline DiMarco March 14, 2011 at 01:16 AM
It is not always easy to tell if your child is being bullied or just going through normal growing up moodiness. My child was always very consistent with his moods–never really sad or in a bad mood. During the first few weeks of the bullying incidents, I noticed some very different behaviors. He did not want to go to school; he was always feeling sick and did not want to leave the house. I also noticed he was having nightmares and whimpering quite a bit in his sleep–something that had rarely happened to him in the past. Other parents have reported noticing a wide variety of other changes in behavior, such as eating or sleeping too much or too little. J DiMarco Solutions for Bullying solutionsforbullying@gmail.com

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