Kids can be cruel, mean and downright hurtful. This hasn’t changed from generation to generation. The taunting, teasing, insults and name calling is still occurring in class rooms and on playgrounds across America. Though it’s not an entirely new issue, parents and educators alike are working to stop the bullying and institute policies that keep children from being socially traumatized at an early age.

A 2010 study revealed that obese children are more apt to being bullied by their peers, parents and even their teachers.

“Children pick up behaviors from adults, so we always have to keep in mind how we’re modeling respect for others around multiple issues, including weight,” said Matthew N. Davis to CNN in 2010 when he served as director of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health. “Imagine how many signals kids get about weight just by hearing conversations by adults or seeing advertisements on TV. The messages are everywhere in terms of trying to control weight and be a different size than you are right now.”

Healthy Children, a website developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics for parents offers ways that parents of obese children can help their child respond to bullying:

  • Have your child bring the issue to an adult and work with your child’s teacher to solve the harassment issue.
  • Instruct your child not to react to the taunting and teasing and instead to walk away from the issue.
  • Increase your child’s social and physical activity outside of school during which they can develop a new supportive peer group like karate, a scout troop, etc.
  • Encourage your child to stand up for themselves by being assertive and asking the bully to stop teasing them.
  • Become a positive role model for your child by eliminating teasing or ridicule at home. Demonstrate respect and encouragement by engaging in a family discussion to learn ways to be more supportive and positive.

Does your child struggle with weight issues and bullying at school/home?

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  1. hazing is an important facet of human interaction, and development. it shouldn’t be legislated. for those who are bullied physically, we already have rules for that (assault+battery, just a good old fashioned passionate ass whuppin, or just learning how to defend yourself), other than that learn to toughen up or come up with some good comebacks. i am so sick and tired of hearing this crap everywhere.

    and before i get some self-righteous crusader going ham on this: i was bullied for being fat growing up, got jumped daily and had what you might call regular verbal abuse. except at the time it was just seen as an obstacle that all children and young adults had to learn to navigate to grow up and deal with the similar (but definitely more subtle) ways that people will try to take advantage of you when you get older and cant tell your mama anymore.

  2. @malikemmanuel- I completely disagree with your comments.

    While bullying has been around since the beginning of time- It was wrong then and its completely wrong now. I too was bullied as a child, however, I feel like it didn’t make me stronger it damaged my self esteem and throughout the years I had to build that back up to where it is today. While I overcame the effects of bullying I feel as if not all children are as strong in all situations. You have children who are taking there lives due to these “innocent taunts” and I find that wrong. How would you feel if your child went to school each day an was bullied then only to come home to find them dead, because they couldn’t deal with it. Now as far as legislation goes only time will tell, but as a former individual that was bullied, I can truly say it’s wrong! I know children solve issues with their fists and words, but the world we live in today is different from when I was in school. Kids are shooting up schools and killing themselves, because of this type of behavior force on them from others and something needs to be done. It’s hard for one person to stand up for themselves if an entire group of individuals is coming at you on a daily basis.

    And, before you “rip me to shreds”… What happened to you was uncalled for as well and I hate you had that experience. All I am saying is that people need to heed to warning on who they choose to “taunt”, because it could have dire consequences on both ends if not taken seriously.

  3. Bullying happens everywhere and it’s not easy to be a parent of a child who is being bullied. But I often wonder the reason why there are kids or even adults who love to bully other people? Is it associated with their home environment? Is it lack of love?

  4. I don’t know many people who didn’t have to deal with some form of teasing or bullying during their school years. How you let it effect you has less to do with the bullies and more to do with your own natural temperament. Some kids are more sensitive (I was one) and have a harder time than others dealing with such things. I had to do a lot of maturing before I came to realize that I was victimizing myself by blaming others for my emotional state. As for the bullies I think many people who want to inflict pain or humiliation on others are absolutely miserable inside. They cannot see a way out of their own misery so they seek to create misery in others. This does not excuse the behavior because there are many people who go through misery without spreading it around. I have to agree with Malik that we need to avoid ridiculous platitudes like “ending bullying” because that is just not possible. Kids tease. It’s part of what they do and no amount of “awareness” is going to change basic human nature. When a kid hurts another kid (whether it’s for his lunch money or because he doesn’t like him) there are already plenty of measures to deal with it. If someone killed be because of my skin rather than for the money in my wallet is it somehow worse? Should the penalty be different? If a person intends to and proceeds to hurt others then the law should penalize them, period. Why not stick with the Golden Rule. It applies to everyone and does not isolate or condemn in the process. Treat others as you would have them treat you. Do we need to reduce everything to the lowest common denominator? If one kid feels bullied do we need across-the-board totalitarian zero-tolerance policies for everyone? I think the solution is worse than the problem. Instead of trying to remove strife from the lives of our children we should engender them with love and actual coping skills.

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