Bullying....when is it real? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Bullying....when is it real?

We all want to be aware if a child is bullied, but are we too quick to cry "bully" to describe disagreements or teasing? And how do you know the difference?      

Dr. Valerie Tucker is a school counselor who says she worries that kids are becoming desensitized to the word bully, because they have learned that by using it, parents will jump in and get involved.       Dr. Tucker says the biggest difference between bullying and conflict - is typically, the victim of a bully usually doesn't want to talk about it.

Two experts share their take on how to spot a real problem.  

"A victim of bullying usually feels they are powerless to do anything about. Telling somebody about it increases the embarrassment they feel over not being able to defend themselves."       

"Do they appear to be depressed; do they appear to be anxious? Are they reluctant to engage in social activity? Are their grades at school reducing? Are they not performing at what they used to?"

This is a question Dr. Sam Moreno, a clinical psychologist, says needs to be asked.

Rather than an argument or disagreement, both professionals describe bullying as intentional, repetitive abuse by a powerful person toward a less powerful target. And they agree the best thing parents can do is ask questions.

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