Bullying and Your Child

A couple weeks ago I wrote about how important it is to monitor and take control of your children’s health. As parents you already know how important it is to monitor your child’s nutrition, physical activity level, and hygiene patterns. But there is an additional aspect we should look out for – our children’s emotional well-being.

As the school year begins, children will begin catching up with old friends and making new friends. These positive relationships are important for social development and stress relief from all their tough assignments. Unfortunately, some students face additional stressors, like bullying.

Bullying is defined as “youth violence that threatens young people’s [emotional or physical] well-being” (CDC). Bullying occurs in-person, but also through technology. In today’s age of social media and multi-player video games, children are exposed to other people’s opinions more often than not.

So how can we prevent bullying? Obviously, removing exposure to cell phones and Playstations is out of the question. However, there are other ways to protect your children’s mental well-being such as:

  • Maintaining open communication with your child about their experiences with peers.

  • Explaining what bullying is to your child and helping them understand how to stand up to bullies safely.

  • Encouraging children to participate in activities or hobbies that boost their confidence and help them make friends.

  • Treating others with kindness and respect so your child has a positive role model.

All of those tips are a step in the right direction. But bullying is a larger issue that requires the attention of the community and its members. Here at the Grafton-Taylor County Health Department we don’t want your children to experience bullying or unnecessary stressors. We are advocates for bullying prevention and offer a variety of educational materials about this issue.

In addition to our preventative services, we offer help to those who have fallen victim to acts of bullying. Our Behavioral Health program is available to all individuals who live within Taylor County, regardless of insurance coverage. If your child is experiencing bullying at school or online, our skilled team can help. Counseling sessions are available weekly, by appointment only.

If you’d like more information about bullying or scheduling an appointment, please don’t hesitate to call the office at 304-265-1288, and ask for our Social Worker, Brandy Miller. Scheduling and information regarding behavioral health is also available at www.GTCHDWV.org.

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