VCkidsFYI: Is my child being bullied? Learn how you can make a difference

Ventura County Behavioral Health

An average of 35% of middle school students are bullied every year

Nearly 50% of teens have been victims of cyberbullying

What is Bullying?

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that causes serious harm. Bullying can affect everyone, those who are bullied, those who bully, and those who witness bullying. Bullying can happen anywhere, online or at school. Bathrooms, locker areas, PE, group activities and school functions are high-risk areas. Cyberbullying is bullying, or mean-spirited behavior, that takes place using electronic technology. Examples include mean text messages, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, “burn pages” on Facebook, embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake online profiles.

Is my child being bullied?

  • Seems upset or scared
  • Appears upset after using the computer or viewing a text message
  • Is evasive when asked about concerns
  • Grades are declining, doesn’t want to go to school or join group activities
  • Has problems eating or sleeping

Is my child a bully? …or supporting bullies?

  • Is cruel or mean when talking about other children
  • Lacks empathy towards students who are bullied
  • Comes home from school with extra money or “new” toys, books or clothes
  • Is impulsive, aggressive, or easily angered
  • Is unwilling to show online profiles to parents

Bullying and drug use

Bullying and drug use may seem like separate problems. Kids who use drugs or alcohol are at risk for other problem behaviors during their teen years. A parent can learn to recognize the warning signs of bullying and being bullied, underage alcohol use and drug use to help before the problem becomes worse. Asking for help is the first step.

Helping your child

  • Teach your kids empathy. Encourage them to include kids who are left out.
  • Make sure they talk to a trusted adult or school administrator immediately.
  • Help kids understand the line between funny and cruel and how their behavior can hurt others.
  • Lead by example. Show respect and compassion for others.
  • Help your kid be an upstander – not a bystander.

To Learn More

Below are some resources to help learn about the facts of alcohol, drugs and bullying. We’ve included some websites and local resources in the community.

Local Resources:

If you're concerned about signs of drug use with your child, call (805) 981-9200 to talk with a professional at Ventura County Behavioral Health, Alcohol & Drug Programs, Youth Services. Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
TAGS: Youth, Parents
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