It's a topic some ignore, but too many times bullying happens in and outside of schools.
There's many forms of bullying from emotional, physical and mental. Valley Today's Kristi Larson sat down with Kelly Olson who is the Division Director of The Village's Behavioral Health and Family Services to talk about the issue.
Kelly explains the first thing to do is recognize signs your child may be being bullied.
If they have a decrease in grades, want to skip school, are getting in fights, isolate themselves, are sleeping more or less and are acting anxious when you mention school, they could all be sings a form of bullying is happening.
There's many forms of bullying including verbal, media based, physical and psychological.
Verbal is when there's name calling or threats being made. Media based could be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email, anything that is threatening and abusive. Physical involves hitting, shoving and tripping. Psychological is when there's social ridicule or an embarrassing moment in public.
Parents need to listen to the kids when they bring up a topic of bullying. Kelly says to try not to minimize their feelings. Also take what they are telling you serious and don't place blame, seek to understand.
When you understand the situation and know when and where the bullying is happening, have your child show proof is they can. Keep the documentation for when you take action.
Kelly explains once there's signs of bullying ask your child what they've done to alleviate the bullying. Also see if you can get the school involved like a teacher or principal.
Once a child is ready for technology like cell phones and internet, as parents there's limits that need to be set.
A parent has the right to make a contract with the child about internet usage, Kelly says. There are many risks that come along with going online including financial, emotional, physical and bullying. Talk with kids about the risks and consequences of what they post on social media.
Kelly says it all comes down to talking with your kids. Communication is key between parents and kids. If a child is telling you about a problem talk to them about a solution like talking with a teacher, principal or even seeking a mental health professional.