The impact of bullying; Signs to look out for

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — In today’s age of technology, bullying has evolved from school playgrounds to the internet. It’s a place where kids can post hurtful, even threatening messages about others from behind their computer screens.

“We’re seeing a lot of cyberbullying and the effects of it,” said licensed psychologist, Dr. Andrew Adler.

He said whether it’s in a school hallway or on a social media site, bullying in any form can have a major impact on a child’s well-being.

“Young children growing up are developing. They’re under constant development, it’s construction, it’s ongoing construction,” said Dr. Adler.

The effects of bullying can last for years.

“Often times, negative messages are very easy to internalize and believe that something about themselves,” explained Dr. Adler. “It can definitely be an insult to self-esteem, it’s an assault.”

So what makes a kid become a bully?

“Lots of stuff is going on in the mind of the bully. Sometimes that bully is actually being bullied by someone else. It may be within the home itself, or it may be someone else in say another grade or another classroom who is actually bullying that person,” said Dr. Adler.

He urges parents to keep an open line of communication with their kids, know what’s going on in their day-to-day lives, and if anything seems out of the ordinary — take action.

Whether it’s in person or online, there are signs your child may show if he or she is being bullied. They include:

• A reluctance to go to school, parties or friends’ houses
• Sadness or poor self-esteem
• Drug or alcohol use
• Or any significant change in your child’s behavior

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