It’s that time again, the start of a new school year. Many parents are anxiously awaiting the beginning of school for their kids, but some may be apprehensive and cautiously optimistic with the new and usual student who may not treat their child nice. Bullying continues to persist and create serious problems for schools and for parents. Children who were bullied in childhood are at risk of health and social problems in adulthood. Victims of bullying, including the bully, are at risk of poor health, poor social relationship outcomes in adulthood and family hardships in the future. Bullying is defined as to seek harm, intimidate or coerce, discrimination and violence, (someone perceived as vulnerable).
Parents are providing their children with modern technology such as phones and tablets, for easy, immediate and quick contact for crisis and emergencies. However, this affords another opportunity for the bully, which is called cyberbullying. Another phenomenon similar to verbal and physical bullying is rapidly increasing and causing serious problems.
Our First Lady Melania Trump has made this endeavor, Bullying her most pressing platform. The First Lady Melania Trump spoke and addressed the 2018 Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit on Cyberbullying. She spoke vigorously about online safety and stated “We need to do all we can to provide children with information and tools for safe online habits”. Social media executives from Twitter, Facebook and Google participated at the summit. The First Lady also highlighted another endeavor of hers “Be Best” which is an initiative which encourages teaching children the importance of social, emotional and physical health with a focus on social media use, wellbeing and opioid abuse.
According to a New Report written by WalletHub, what’s even more troubling is that Louisiana, leads with a 73.56 score as the worst school bullying problem in the United States. Arkansas, Missouri, Idaho and Alaska ranking 2, 3, 4 and 5 in being the worst states with bullying schools.
Experts say parents play a vital and significant role in the prevention of bullying and cyberbullying. Most experts insist bullying is a learned behavior, usually from an adult. Positive and empathetic adults are excellent role models for children and youth. Some key major factors in bullying is the child’s race, ethnicity, social economics, living environment and the bully, may have been bullied or mistreated themselves. Parents who listen to their child, indicate or express unconditional love and support, monitor their child’s friends and social media, develop better peer to peer relationships, have reliable support systems and identify healthy and good coping skills, sit and eat dinner together are likely to have good outcomes.
References: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Cyberbullying Research Center and Psychology Today, National Center for Educational Statistics, US Census Bureau, Wallwthub.com and WhiteHouse.gov