Parents Turning To Professionals To Help Bullied Children

By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Bullying can have a devastating effect on a child with consequences that last for years. Parents can have a difficult time figuring out a good strategy to help.

More parents are now turning to professionals to get the assistance they need. One mother said she felt her son was targeted by other kids on his very first day of kindergarten.

Doctor Joel Haber wrote “Bullyproof your Child for Life.” He meets with bullied children and their parents to help devise plans for fixing these bad situations.

WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports.

Haber said, “Parents call me in desperation because their kid has been bullied. They don’t know what to do and their kid doesn’t want to go back to school.”

The first reaction of many parents is to try and intercede, but Haber said that can sometimes make the situation worse if they don’t take the right action. “Most people feel that rush of adrenaline, that emotion, and they want to take control of this themselves.”

Parents can also be at a disadvantage because so much of today’s bullying takes place with technology, whether it’s texting or mean messages on Facebook.

“My goal is always when parents bring technology into a home is to have them just set up parameters.”
The first rule is to make sure kids understand cell phones and computers are a privilege and will be taken away if they are misused.

Haber also advises parents to Google their kids periodically and friend them on Facebook. This allows for better monitoring of their online communication.

He also says that parents should print and save any evidence of cyber bullying.

Parents also have to stay up to date and make sure they understand the language of the Internet so they don’t miss anything.

Finally, Haber says to resist the urge to teach children how to fight back as a response. “If you hit them, you will get in trouble,” he advised one boy who has been having issues.

School departments in Massachusetts must now have policies in place to deal with instances of bullying.

More from Paula Ebben
  • Ellen

    In my day we had something called Reform Schools where bad kids went, and that meant school bullies as well. Why not bring them back and really teach kids a lesson on life. If you act bad towards others we do have a place for you, and it aint a place for wimps. Otherwise act properly and respectively towards others so you don’t end up behind the eight ball. Reform Schools then, Reform Schools now.

    • jaygee

      Ellen, I agree with what you are saying but you must realize that many of these bullies are on the honor roll, come from good families and are certainly not going to reform school. Kids from all economic & social backgrounds can bully other classmates and get away with it.

  • emom

    were are the parents in all this,, are they not monitoring what their darling little angels are doing,, OH and dont even tell me mom , dad or whom ever does not know what kids do …. REALLY LAME , kids are kids another lame one, or let kids handle it ,,, why should adults get invovled,, really ,, then that surely explains all the juivinile delinqients in juvy.. yeah and all the teen pregnancies, drug dealers at the age of 15, armed robbers at 12, muggers at 10,, yeah and they blame society for the way their kids are, cause they dont know how to deal with them,,, well why did you have them first off, and if you seemed to care about your kids, why not find a way to deal with them.. take their butts to the police station and lock them up for a few hours yeah scare them straight. if that dont work , then bump it up a bit and make them do community service, hard work, that will stopp them from bulling others, first the adults need to be parents,, get a clue,,,

    • Ellen

      emom, agree 100 per cent. Parents today are to busy being friends with their kids instead of being parents. Thumbs up on your comment. A big Thumbs Up.

  • jaygee

    Despite what the good doctor says, I seriously doubt if he can realistically “devise plans for fixing these situations”. Anyone who can remember growing up can also recall that they were bullied or they bullied someone else. It goes on all around the world and has been forever. Should it be stopped, yes! Can it be stopped, no! Some parents could care less what their kids do and unless parents & schools are prepared to meter out harsh punishment, then nothing will change.

  • Denise

    Parents take your power back from your children and Big Brother!

  • emom

    NO parents get involved with your kids, get in their face, in their business, KNOW what they are doing , where they are going and put punishments in place when they step out of line, WHAT is so wrong with holding them all accountable for wrong doing,, since when is it ok to JUST do what ever,,, after all the miore they are allowed to run amoke , fight , bully, do wroing well prison is going to become a new way of life for all those that do not think rules were ment for them . BUT HEY CARY ON AS IS cause its apparnet most parents dont give a darn and probably wouldnt care if they went to prison,,, SO WHY HAVE KIDS,,, clueless as usuall

  • kadja2

    I did a 2 part blog series on this topic. It is time to change the face of education again. Discipline needs to be brought back–and I do not mean lunch detention. We also need to change the entire learning environment up.

  • TrishaSmith

    Every child is at risk of being bullied no matter what their personality is like. Bullying is the reason why my only son stopped participating in school games. He looked smaller than his age and some kids teased him and his afraid they might do something to harm him. I immediately registered my son when I heard about SafeKidZone. It’s a panic button alert installed on his cell phone that when he is bullied, threatened or he encounters an emergency, he will just press the panic button it will simultaneously notify his selected group of friends and family members. If it’s a life-threatening emergency, the incident will be escalated to the nearest 911 in seconds with complete information. There are more features too that are designed to keep my son away from danger. If you want to check out, this is their site

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