Every parent wants to protect their child from harm. When we send our children to school, we expect them to be safe and protected. Yet, despite zero-tolerance policies and classroom behavior standards, bullying behavior is not uncommon among children (see our previous post). Unfortunately, because bullies usually target their victims out of sight of teachers and other adults, bullying can fly under the radar unless a child or his parent speaks up.

What is bullying?

A little good-natured teasing is common between siblings and friends during childhood. But when teasing turns hurtful or constant, it becomes bullying and should not be tolerated. Bullying can be either physical or emotional or both; and can include such behaviors as hitting, shoving, name-calling, extorting money, exclusion and spreading rumors.

Signs your child is being bullied

If your child doesn’t want to go to school; frequently complains of headaches or stomachaches when it’s time to leave for the bus; seems unusually worried or quiet or angry; or returns home disheveled or without something he took to school; he could be the victim of bullying. Making a habit of chatting with your child about his day will help you recognize possible problems early on.

As hectic as life is, it’s easy to chalk up childhood complaints and disagreements to the natural process of social development. It takes experience and a few wrong turns for children to learn how to get along with other children and stand up for themselves. We want our children to learn how to resolve their differences, and they usually do. But when they can’t, parents should not hesitate to step in and alert their child’s teacher to the situation so that it can be resolved quickly.

The teachers and staff of Horizon Education Centers are committed to providing a safe environment for all children. When children bully, we work with parents to help identify trigger issues and teach children appropriate coping skills.

 Horizon Education Centers offers childcare in Northeast Ohio. Centers are located in Cuyahoga County and Lorain County.