By Deanna Hurn, Founder and Executive Director of Miracle Math Coaching

Many of you have been on one side or another of the bullying issue. Either a child has intimidated, harassed or physically harmed your child. Or your son or daughter was the bully.

Being a parent in either situation is painful, but it’s especially so when your own child is the one who got hurt.

October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, a good time to dispel some widely held myths. If we truly want to end this destructive behavior and alleviate the pain it causes children and families, we must start by taking it seriously.

Knowing the facts about bullying is a good place to start.

Here’s what’s NOT true:

A child who is bullied learns to be resilient in the face of adversity.
Not true. According to a U.S. Center for Disease Control study, students who are bullied are at increased risk for academic problems, substance abuse and violent behavior later in life.

The problem only affects children who bully or those who are bullied. Just witnessing bullying can mentally harm a child. A study cited by the American Psychological Association found that students who saw someone being physically or emotionally hurt experienced psychological distress that was the same or greater than that of the victim.

If your kids are bullies, all you can do is talk to them about their behavior and punish them for it. The very least you can do is reprimand them and back that up with serious consequences, like the stripping of privileges.

Other tactics include having your child make amends to his or her victim, setting an example yourself by not engaging in bullying behavior and trying to talk with your child about the reasons behind his or her actions. Often they might be feeling fear, anger or other strong emotions that you can help address. Or you can call on a professional therapist who works with children.

Bullying isn’t a serious problem because only a small number of kids are affected. The statistics, in fact, are startling: 24 million U.S. children (or about one-third of all) will be bullied during their school career. Downplaying the numbers mean fewer bullied children will be taken seriously and more bullies will continue to cause harm.

Bullies will grow out of their behavior. This is probably the most dangerous myth of all. Without proper intervention, school-aged bullies are likely to engage in abusive and criminal behavior as adults.

Parents can find more information on how to help their bullied child or how to prevent their child from bullying at Stop the Bullying and Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center.

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Stress is the #1 reason for poor academic performance. If your child is struggling in his or her academics, it may be time to expand your Village of Support. I’d love to help you do that. I’m inviting you to sign up today for a FREE Learning Discovery Evaluation. Regardless of how students are doing, we can help them discover how they learn, and we can add value to their academic journey. Click here to sign up now.

Miracle Math Coaching is an award-winning, student-focused service with a track record of boosting academic achievement.

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