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Bullying in Schools

How to recognize, prevent, and stop this all-too-common problem in school

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Whether bullying is verbal, physical, or done online, aggressive, threatening, or deliberately hurtful behavior is an unfortunate but very real problem that can happen in any school, even among young school-age children.

But by being educated about what bullying is, knowing how to spot the signs of bullying, and learning what to do if your child is affected by this behavior, parents can be prepared to address bullying if and when it happens. Here's what you need to know about bullying in schools:

1. Understand the definition of bullying.

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Bullying is aggressive behavior that is intentional. It can be physical or verbal aggression that can take the form of insults, teasing, shoving, hitting, and other intimidating and hurtful behavior. It's important for parents to fully understand that bullying is not just "kids being kids" -- it is assault and aggression that should not be tolerated. Read more about the definition of bullying.

2. Learn how to spot the signs that your child may be a bullying victim.

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Children who are victims of bullying may be reluctant to tell anyone about what is going on. But parents can look for signs such as refusing to go to school, sudden drop in school performance, unexplained injuries, and more.

3. Learn how to prevent and stop bullying.

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Maintaining good communication with your child and keeping up with what's going on in her life is a key factor in spotting any signs of potential problems at school, including bullying. It's important that parents talk to their child about bullying, and review what she should do if she experiences bullying or sees it happen to another child. Read more about how to prevent and stop bullying.

4. Teach your child about the importance of empathy.

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Nurturing emotional intelligence in kids is one of the most important things parents can do for a child. Empathy and emotional intelligence give children essential life skills for the future. And when children develop empathy, they are less likely to engage in bullying behavior.

5. What to Do When Your Child is a Bully

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As much as parents may want to ignore the distressing idea that their own child may be capable of acting like a bully, the reality is that almost any child can be a bully in certain situations and circumstances. Here are some tips on what to do if you discover that your child has been bullying someone else.

6. What is Cyberbullying?

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What is cyberbullying and how is it different from other types of bullying such as physical or emotional intimidation and aggression? Learn the definition of cyberbullying.

7. Cyberbullying and Grade School-Age Kids

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As children get email accounts, cell phones, and join social networking sites at an earlier age than ever, cyberbullying is increasingly becoming a potential problem for kids as young as elementary school. Find out how you can prevent cyberbullying and learn how to spot the signs of a child being cyberbullied and learn how to help.

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