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Bullying manifests in multiple ways

Ask the Experts


SAVE the DATES The Family Center, Grosse Pointe Public School System and DMC Children's Hospital presents a 5-week series: RE: BULLYING - Defining Behavior ē Offering Solutions 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays Parcells Middle School auditorium Free admission Oct. 2 — Starter Fluid of Bullying = Meanness Oct. 9 — The Psychological Costs of Bullying Oct. 16 — Law Enforcement and Grosse Pointe Public School System administrators Define the Consequences of Bullying Oct. 23 — Developing Healthy Relationships at Home, School and in the Community Oct. 30 — Building Resilience in our Youth & Families Register at familycenterweb.org For more information, call (313) 432-3832
September 27, 2012
Q. Every day thousands of teens wake up afraid to go to school. I've learned bullying is a problem affecting millions of students, and it has everyone worried, not just students on its receiving end. How can parents and educators better understand just how extreme bullying can get, and how it impacts everyone involved?

What are the effects bullying can have on the victim?

A.There are numerous potential consequences. These include increased stress, anxiety, and worrying about both going to and being in school. Victims can have school attendance problems and physical complaints such as stomachaches and headaches.

Other potential

issues include:

* Sleep and appetite disturbances,

* Decreased assertiveness,

* Increased insecurity and crying/withdrawal,

* Chronic low self-esteem,

* Risk being shunned by peers,

* Depression which may be seen as irritability or anger,

* Suicidal thinking/behavior,

* Decreased concentration and academic achievement,

* Victims may turn to bullying others,

* Need for psychotherapy to help decrease the above effects and

* Extreme consequence: a bully-victim (youth who was bullied and bullies back) who kills.

What are some effects bullying has on the


* Decreased social relationships,

* Tendency to use external means to cope with their own problems, e.g., victimizing others,

* Tendency toward increased use of physical aggression and suffering consequences,

* Stepping stone to delinquent or antisocial behavior,

* Long-term, contributes to the development of low self-esteem and

* Long-term, as parents, they may have children who bully too.

What are some tips for the victim?

* Talk to teacher, parent, friends, if you don't want to go to school or get nervous and worried about going or feel sad and suicidal,

* Believe that something can be done about it and you have a right to be treated respectfully,

* Ignore; if that doesn't work,

* Move away; if that doesn't work,

* Talk friendly; if that doesn't work,

* Talk firmly; if that doesn't work,

* Get adult help,

* Don't engage a cyberbully with more e-mails or send offending e-mail to others,

* Keep all the evidence and show to adults,

* Tell parents, school,

* Block e-mails and cell numbers and

* Change phone numbers, e-mail addresses.

What can/should the bully do?

* Try to feel what the victim might be feeling.

* Think how you would feel, if you were bullied.

* Be honest and admit that you have hurt another's feelings and reputation.

* Talk to friends and let them know you don't like what you did.

* Realize you are bullying mostly to gain attention of others at the expense of another; there are healthier ways to be accepted and admired.

* Own up to your behavior; talk to adults about it; get counseling and

* Apologize to victim.

When it comes to bullying, there are consequences for both the victim and perpetrator.

Michael Butkus is a clinical psychologist at DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan.

The Family Center, a 501(c) (3), non-profit organization, serves as the community's centralized hub for information, resources and referral for families and professionals.

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E-mail questions to info@familycenterweb.org.

To volunteer or contribute, visit familycenterweb.org, call (313) 432-3832 or write: 20090 Morningside Drive, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236.

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