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?