Eau Claire (WQOW) – Ahead of the start of school, local health officials are offering tips for you to help combat bullying.
According to a counselor from Prevea Health, bullying spikes between fifth and seventh grades and then dissipates around age 16.
They say the forms of bullying that are likely range from exclusion and gossiping, to cyber bullying, even stealing or breaking personal belongings and other physical aggression.
Signs your kid could be experiencing bullying are not wanting to participate in activities they used to enjoy, often saying they don’t feel well, or refusing to go to school.
Officials say the best way to help is supporting your child.
“As parents, I think that the best thing they can do is validate their child’s feelings, acknowledging that what they’re feeling is real, it’s important,” said Jeni Gronemus, a licensed professional counselor at Prevea Health. “Not telling them to suck it up, toughen up, saying that kids will be kids. Those can be really detrimental to a child’s self-esteem and self-concept.”
Gronemus said open communication, like asking how school went each day will make it more likely they come to you with problems at school.