In recent years, bullying has become a national concern. It appears that bullying has increased in settings such as school and in our local communities. Bullying can include behaviors such as verbal and cyber threats, physical aggression and excessive teasing.
What we know about bullying is that boys and girls tend to engage in bullying, but each tend to use different forms. For example, boys are more likely to engage physical bullying, while girls are more likely to engage in verbal and cyber threats. Research indicates that there is no one cause for bullying. Some contributing factors can be negative family, school and peer environments. Both bullies and victims can be at greater risk for future emotional difficulties. An additional challenge in combating bullying is that many adults do not recognize or consider bullying to be a serious issue. Additionally, many schools still do not have programs that address bullying.
The US Department of Justice reported that younger students are more likely to be bullied than older students. Bullying appears to be more prevalent between the 5th and 8th grade. Other reports indicate that students with special needs, such as Autism, are especially vulnerable to bullying.
What Can Parents Do?
- Parents can investigate whether their school has a preventive bullying program that goes beyond a “zero tolerance approach”. Effective school prevention programs emphasize a positive school climate with involvement and training on bullying for students, parents and faculty. This approach has proven especially effective at the elementary and middle school levels.
- Parents can check their child’s social media activity on a regular basis.
- Parents can keep the lines of communication open with their child with regular talks about their social and school experiences.
- Parents can try to be aware of changes in their child’s behavior such as a child who becomes withdrawn, unhappy, has experienced a recent drop in grades, or demonstrates an unwillingness to attend school or go outside.
Jean Ruttenberg, MA
Jean is a well-known and respected specialist in the area of autism, ADHD and emotional disorders. She assists all age groups and is skilled at solving difficult behavior problems.
Not ready for the summer to be over? Wishing the first day of school would be delayed indefinitely? Here are some quick tips to help you transition back to school as painlessly as possible.
- Enjoy the rest of your summer. Instead of dreading the upcoming school year, spend your time at the beach or the pool, relaxing by yourself or with friends. Read a book, watch your favorite show, or become a tourist in your own town. Determine to make the most of what’s left of summer break.
- Carry your love of summer into the school year. Think about why you most enjoy the summer. Perhaps it’s a sport or an activity that you can continue in the fall. Or maybe it’s more of a carefree mindset which allows for new hobbies, and fun explorations. Whenever possible, plan time to continue pursuing your “summer loves” even as the seasons change.
- Determine to be different. Maybe the summer—or even last school year—weren’t what you hoped they’d be. What would you change? Perhaps you wished you had spent more time with your friends or tried something new this summer. Maybe last school year was a disaster and you’re hoping that new teachers, classes, and maybe some new friends will make a difference. Focus on what you can control, like your perspective, habits, friends, and activities.
- Take a deep breath and relax. You have a whole year to make friends, learn algebra, and decide whether or not you like your English teacher. Prior to the first day of school, all you need to know is what kind of person you’d like to be on the first day. A pencil and notebook may be helpful, too.
These three ideas should help you to embrace the school year, despite its routines and demands. If we can help you transition to the school year or deal with any other challenges you’re currently facing, please call us here at the Center at 215.491.1119. If you would rather email us, please click here.
–Dr. Lorna Jansen specializes in treating children, adolescents, and families. She helps clients manage stress, deal with relationship issues, and also offers academic coaching.
We can all agree that there are few things as satisfying as a good night of sleep. It is essential to our well-being. During sleep we heal, we learn and regain our energy. It helps us pay attention, think faster and it improves our mood. A lack of it and we become grumpy, fatigued and have difficulty concentrating. When you don’t get enough sleep, you are more likely to get injured, sick or have an accident. Drowsiness and falling asleep while driving accounts for more than 100,000 car crashes each year. According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, people who sleep six to seven hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in such a crash as those sleeping 8 hours or more, while people sleeping less than 5 hours increased their risk four to five times.