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LDS Child Counselor: Bullying And Your Child

As an LDS child counselor I’ve worked with many young patients who have been the victims of bullying, especially in a school setting, and I know the impact it can have on a child and on others around him.  In fact bullying today has become almost an epidemic with one in five students in an average classroom experiencing some type of bullying.  That means that if you are the parent of a child in public school, then you’ve probably heard about an instance of bullying related to you by your child or you’ve had to deal with your child being bullied, at least to some degree.  

The Bullying Circle

Every child in a school is involved in bullying in one way or another.  This circle of bullying includes:

  • the victim
  • the student who does the bullying
  • his “henchmen” who encourage and help him
  • supporters who laugh at the bullying to encourage the bully
  • passive supporters who like the bullying but don’t show it
  • disengaged onlookers who don’t take a stand either way and may think the bullying is none of their business
  • possible defenders who dislike the bullying and think they should help but do nothing
  • defenders who dislike the bullying and step in to help the victim.    

The Impact Of Bullying

Just as when an adult bullies or terrorizes his family or neighbors, a child who bullies affects all of those around him.  School children who bully others have an impact on the lives of their victims, on the lives of the children who observe the bullying and on the overall climate in the school.  As an LDS child counselor, I have seen the short-term and long-term effects of bullying.  

  ▪ The Victim – Students who are victims of bullying can become depressed, have low self-esteem, have health problems, do poorly in school and even have suicidal thoughts.

  ▪ The Observers – Children who watch other children get bullied can begin to feel unsafe in school.  In addition, they may feel guilt either for not acting or for wanting to participate in the bullying.

  ▪ The School – When bullying isn’t stopped or dealt with, the school will develop an environment of fear and disrespect.  Students will feel insecure, will have difficulty paying attention and learning, will begin to dislike school and will perceive that their teachers and staff not only have little control over what happens in school but also that they don’t care about the students.    

Talk to your child about bullying, especially if you have noticed behavioral changes in him or her.  If there is a problem that your child needs help overcoming, you should consider making an appointment with an LDS child counselor.  Call Insight Child & Family Counseling at (972) 426-9500 or visit us online at to find out more about how we can help.

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