Sunday, August 30, 2015

School has started, let us join together for this ONE thing...

The supplies and clothes are bought. First day of school pictures, whether pre-school or senior year of college, is posted. Friends and family have remarked on the incredible changes from this year to last. Band practice is in full swing, as is two a day football sessions. Soon Thursday and Friday nights will be filled with school spirits and parents and coaches praying for games that bring no injuries on either side of the field.There will be laughter, groans, good-natured complaining and among it all, memories will be in the making. 

Third quarter breaks for the band to indulge in soda, nachos, candy and the sly glances at those they have a crush on. Blankets will surround shivering bodies, hot chocolate will warm cold hands. Victory smiles will cover faces and disappointment shows on other as handshakes at the end of game teaches good sportsmanlike behavior. Morning breakfast, fifth quarter celebrations, and monday video reviews.

The school year will progress with tests, pictures, problems and solutions. But, the school year will not be fun for all students. Some will be the victim of bullying, of being left out, of being judged for being different and not fitting in. There will be the ones who sit alone at lunch time wondering what was so wrong with him/her that they do not have a friend. They are the ones who will withdraw into themselves and will be scarred for years to come.

Take the time to talk to your children about bullying and what constitutes bullying. Look for these signs to recognize if your child is being bullied:
  • Unexplainable injuries
  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations

Many parents don’t want to think of their child as being the bully. Here are some signs that he/she is a bully:
  • Physical or verbal fights
  • They have friends who are bullies
  • Increasingly aggressive
  • Visit the principal’s office or detention frequently
  • Have unexplained extra money or new belongings
  • Blame others for their problems
  • Don’t accept responsibility for their actions
  • Are competitive
  • Worry about reputation or popularity

Kids who are bullied may already feel socially isolated and fear this will get worse if they report bullying. By keeping close tabs on your children and their friends, we can all stop bullying. 

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K-Trina Meador, aka K. Meador