America’s Bullying Crisis

by Dr. Karen Ruskin on October 15, 2011

All this week Anderson Cooper has provided his viewers with a special series on bullying.  I am very glad that this matter is receiving attention, as it is an important topic indeed. This parenting expert and relationship strategist, your very own Dr. Karen Ruskin along with my team at Dr. Karen Ruskin & Associates, Incinclude helping families with bullying challenges as one of the important struggles that the youth population experience. On air, I have discussed bullying including sharing my perspective of the importance of parents, teachers, school administrators, and youth (those that feel bullied and those that are labeled as bullied) to all be helped. Each person plays a role in helping this painful problem.  

If you wish to watch some of my television appearances and read my documentation to learn concrete strategies and hear informative insights, included are 3 different angles of bullying each with its own important message.   Pre-school bullying  is one important topic you are welcome to learn more about, this is where I participated in a moderated web chat and television interview.  Phoebe Prince committed suicide reportedly due to bullying, which is another informative segment. This is an unedited interview in my office, FOX 25 News came in with their camera and I spoke candidly. AlyePollack is best known for her You Tube video requesting help due to being bullied, you are welcome to watch my reaction and thoughts about this in an interview.

Do you feel America has a bullying crisis? What does the word “bully” mean to you? Do you teach your children to intervene if observing another child being bullied? Is your child a bully? Has your child ever been bullied? Are you or were you ever a bully or bullied? What action can you and would you take as a parent if your child is a bully? What action can you and would you take as a parent if your child is being bullied? What coping methods does your child have to deal with life’s challenges? How has your child or would he or she handle a situation if feeling bullied? Consider these questions.

In my parenting book I discuss a wide variety of  common scenarios that are great opportunities to teach our youth at all ages ranging from toddler through their teenage years to have compassion for others, communication skills, and conflict solution resolution methods. How we parent and educate our children is the difference that makes the difference in who they become. One example is of a preschool aged child who grabbed a toy from another child during a play date. The mother said: “boys will be boys” or” let them work it out”. This is a very common experience indeed. Anyone who has children either has been witness to another child or their own child behaving in this way. I explain that “toddler and preschool years are the prime time to teach your child respectful techniques he can use to work out situations” The 9 Key Techniques for Raising Respectful Children Who Make Responsible Choices, (page 20). I further explain that it is never too late to educate our children. Whether it is exclusivity, harassing, “making fun” of another person, being verbally abusive, physically aggressive, threatening, and more . . . any and all ages are opportunities to educate our youth.

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