Sunday, September 15, 2013

Anti-Bullying Signs & Symptoms ALL Parents should know!!

by Carolyn Strong, anti-bullying activist, doctoral student & parent of a highly gifted teen

Bullying is a very pervasive issue, particularly as it relates to gifted children of color, often those unique, quirky qualities that define giftedness can be the same things that bullies use to target a child on the playground. 

These are things that we do not like to think about; but as summers comes to a close, bullying and the gifted child is something that we have to once again pay attention to.

As the beginning of the school year is upon us, I would like to take moment to address some issues that may have forgotten while enjoying the summer.  While students file into classrooms and pick up where they left off with their friends and classmates; there are other, more ominous relationships that will continue as well, the relationship between the bully and the bullied.  

In the interest of full disclosure as it relates our children, we should understand the signs and symptoms of being bullied, along with strategies for intervention.

If a child is being bullied, they may not necessarily come right out and say so. It may be up to us as adults to read between the lines and figure out when a child is having an issue. This is also when knowing your child becomes essential. There is finite list of behaviors that I can give you that will indicate that a child is being bullied; however there are some behaviors that may suggest there is a problem.

Prior knowledge of the child’s disposition is always helpful. For example, one of the symptoms of bullying is a child becoming shy and withdrawn; if this is a part of the child’s personality already, it is probably nothing; if this demeanor is new, then it is probably a red flag. Below you will find a list of behaviors that may be associated with bullying; please use them wisely and take the child’s personality into account when applying them.
-child has become shy and withdrawn
-child no longer wants to attend school
-child has become fixated and begin to come home talking about one child’s treatment of them constantly.
-child may no longer enjoy things that they once enjoyed.
-sudden change in grades and/or school attendance.

If you notice that your child is exhibiting these behaviors, please talk to the child and try to ascertain what may be going on. If you determine that further intervention is needed please seek help, and do not try to tackle the problem alone (see below for Ms. Strong's website).

This week's guest blogger is Carolyn Strong. Carolyn is a parent of a highly gifted teen who is also a blogger and entrepreneur. 

Carolyn is a motivational educator with an anti-bullying  message of hope for children, families and schools.  Carolyn holds multiple Master’s degrees in both Curriculum and Educational leadership. Carolyn is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in curriculum and social inquiry.  

Carolyn's research focuses on bullying, bullying and the black aesthetic, girl bullying, minority bullying, and minority representation in gifted education. 

For more information about her anti-bullying research and work, go to:

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