Proper healing encouraged after experiencing bullying

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Bullying can happen anywhere and most times it goes unintentionally unnoticed, and that makes parents play a huge role when it comes to being a support system to their kids.

Texas Connections Academy Counseling Coordinator Kelly Fox said whether it is physical or verbal, it is important for parents to teach kids that bullying behavior is not acceptable.

According to Fox, it is common for kids to not be outspoken about what they are going through which is why she encourages parents to be aware of any changes in behavior.

“They start having headaches or stomach aches and there’s really no physical cause for it or they aren’t sleeping well at night or they are avoiding certain places or certain situations,” said Fox.

Another common sign of bullying is when a child simply does not want to go to school anymore. 

While prevention and awareness are important, healing also plays a huge role.

Shelly Cox, Clinical Director for South Texas Health System Behavioral Outpatient Services said the aftermath of a bullying experience varies and all feelings are valid.

“Normalize any thoughts or any feelings that the child might be having afterward,” said Cox.

She said it is important for parents to thank their child for being brave by coming forward and advises them to check up on their child’s mental health. 

“How are you doing? How’s it going at school? How are you feeling? she said.  

According to Cox, if a parent has done all of the following and continues to notice things like distress, school suffering, changes of behavior then therapy might be the next step.

“There’s two different kinds of therapy that are very helpful, cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy, in helping the child recover and feel more confident,” said Cox. 

Cox said schools should have resources and counselors that can help parents find proper help for their child.

Kelly Fox added it is also important for parents to encourage their kids to be a voice for others who are experiencing bullying.

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