On raising awareness…

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October is a month of many causes, and one of them is bullying.  I can write another post citing statistics.  I can talk about prevention, coping, and taking responsibility.  And I can beg you take cyberbullying seriously…but the truth is that bullying is a community problem – a national problem, really – that requires far more discussion and action than I can provide right here, right now.

That doesn’t mean that I’m burying my head in the sand.  I’m not.  I’m working with my daughter’s school, because sometimes you have to start small.  There is no true bullying prevention strategy in place at this time.  There never has been.  So I’m starting the conversation and getting other parents involved.  Because you have to start somewhere.

I’m talking with other writers and professionals about cyberbullying, the downsides of technology, and the dangers of texting.  And I’m not referring to distracted driving.

And I’m doing my best to raise awareness about the best ways to help kids cope when they do face bullying.  Because childhood and suicide are two words that do not belong in the same sentence.

Do bullying prevention programs work?  At the moment, the results are mixed.  But there are a few things that do work:

Teaching kindness

Teaching empathy

Strong family bonds

and…

Active parenting

With that in mind, I have a few articles for you to read this week.

Childhood depression is on the rise, and it is essential to understand the signs and symptoms and to know how to help.  Head over to Everyday Family for more on Understanding Childhood Depression.

Bullying happens.  We can talk prevention programs until we’re blue in the face, but we have to deal with what is happening right now.

Head over to Everyday Family for What to Do if Your Child is Bullied.

And over on allParenting this week, 5 Bully Busters.  There you will find symptoms of bullying and strategies to help your child.

Keep talking.  The moment we become complacent is the moment that we truly begin to fail our kids.

Be proactive.  Talk to your kids.  Talk to other parents.  Get involved with the school.  Do your part to help zero tolerance become a reality.

 

 

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About Katie

Katie Hurley is a Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychotherapist and Parenting Expert in Los Angeles, CA. She works in private practice in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, writes for PBS Parents, Washington Post Parents, and the Huffington Post. She is the author of "The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World" (Tarcher/Penguin, 2015) and "No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls" (Penguin Random House, 2018)