How to recognize if your child is being bullied…9News Report

I just got back from the 9NEWS TV studio in Denver and wanted to share with you the piece we did on bullying.

Here’s the link to the video clip of the show…it’s only 3 minutes long…but packed with critical info on bullying: http://www.9news.com/video/default.aspx?bctid=1808390606001

With the new school year just getting underway, kids need to be prepared with more than just a new outfit and a shiny backpack!  Parents also need to be aware of the subtle signs of bullying and what they should do if they suspect a bullying problem.

Bullying is a problem that has been around forever…but the effects on our children seem to have intensified, especially with texting and social media available to the bullies.

How to recognize if your child is being bullied

 Written by

Physical bullying at school, as depicted in th...

Physical bullying at school, as depicted in the film Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

–>KUSA – Denver Public Schools started back on Monday. Even though many kids are excited to see friends who were gone over the summer, some children are dreading returning to school due to bullying.

So, how do you know if your child is being bullied if they won’t tell you? Vivian Kirkfield joined 9NEWS at 8 a.m. on Monday to discuss some warning signs that your child may be a victim of a bully.

“There are a couple of subtle signs, and some not-so-subtle,” Kirkfield said. “One of them would be a child coming home scratched or bruised. Another might be a child coming home with belongings missing, like their new bookbag is gone, a jacket or some of their books perhaps.”

Kirkfield says another sign may be your child not wanting to take the bus to school or are walking a different route to school. But the signs may not just be from your child returning or going to school. The issues may permeate into family relations also.

“Maybe they always gotten along with siblings and now, all of the sudden, they are fighting with brothers and sisters,” Kirkfield said. “Maybe they are having trouble sleeping … or bad dreams.”

Kirkfield says sudden complaints of health conditions like a headache or a stomach ache may be a sign too.

“Although all of those symptoms could be caused by other problems, a parent really needs to be sensitive to it and act upon it,” Kirkfield said.

A lot of times, a school will notice a problem on a playground and give parents a heads up. However, if that’s not the case, how does a parent confront their kid about possible bullying?

“Most of the time, children do not want to talk about the bullying because either they’re embarrassed or they’re afraid,” Kirkfield said. “Maybe they’ve been told ‘I’m really going to beat you up,’ or ‘kill your brother.’ Parents can speak with their child and ask direct questions such as ‘Is somebody bothering you at school?’ And ask indirect questions such as ‘Is there anybody at school you don’t like?'”

Kirkfield says a child might be much more willing to talk about something like that than to come straight out and admit they are being bullied.

“Even after your child doesn’t come out and say it … definitely talk to the school staff,” Kirkfield said. “Talk with your child’s teacher, with the child’s principal, guidance counselor, because they are there. Police really need to form that connection with the school early on, even if there isn’t a problem with bullying.”

Kirkfield says parents need to stay involved in their child’s school.

The Adventures of Tempest & Serena: A Chapter Book Home Run!

As a child, I loved books in all shapes and sizes. 

I remember the summer between third and fourth grade, I would go to the library and take out piles of books…and sit reading in the back yard…all day long!  Black Beauty, Little Women, Nancy Drew…as soon as I turned the last page, I would start another book.

About two years ago, there was a controversy about “chapter” books…are they replacing picture books for young children and when should parents encourage their kids to read them.  I have to admit that I wasn’t quite sure what they were talking about…were “chapter” books some new electronic age phenomenon? 

Luckily, I met children’s author Marty Mokler Banks at a local SCBWI meeting last weekend.

 And now I know all about chapter books because she wrote one.

And it was just published.

And she graciously gave me a copy so that I could review it.

And I LOVED it.

And I remembered those wonderful classic stories I had read years ago…the forerunners of today’s “chapter” books.

And here’s something awesome for all of you…other than my wonderful review, that is.

The author is offering a FREE DOWNLOAD of The Adventures of Tempest & Serena for the entire weekend (Friday, August 24 to Sunday, August 26). Just click on the link below.

http://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Tempest-Serena-ebook/dp/B008SV7UZG/ref=la_B004OB10M8_1_1_title_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1345468668&sr=1-1

I know you won’t want to miss reading it…and then you can click over to where the paperback copy is for sale on Amazon…believe me, this book is a GREAT gift for any young boy or girl…the holidays are coming sooner than you think and it’s all about encouraging children to READ!

And after you read this review, I know you will want to pick up several for your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or any kid age 7 and up.

 

The Adventures of Tempest & Serena

Written by Marty Mokler Banks (she also did the inside illustrations!)

Themes:

Sisters, courage, valuing one’s own strengths and qualities, friendship, bullying/teasing, magic, adventure, travel.

Synopsis:  

From the Amazon site: “Wild, brave Tempest wants summer to last forever. Her calm, timid sister, Serena, can’t wait for the start of the new school year. On the first day, Tempest decides to skip fourth grade, seek adventure by using magic to sprout wings, and fly away to exotic places. As she waves good-bye, Serena promises to save her sister’s seat on the bus. Will Tempest make it home? Can Serena keep her promise? As each sister battles bullies, disasters, and loneliness, they discover they’re more alike than they know.”

Why do I like this book

I don’t only like this book…I love this book!  It kept me turning the pages and wanting to find out what would happen next…I couldn’t put it down once I started it.

A number of timely topics such as girl empowerment and bullying and teasing are addressed.  In addition, the story takes us to distant lands and enables the reader to see how the various characters face their fears and conquer them.  Children need great roles models and they will find them in Tempest and Serena and some of their friends.

Author Banks has certainly stepped up to the plate with her debut chapter book…with The Adventures of Tempest & Serena, she has hit a homerun, right out of the park and into the hearts of her readers!

The Adventures of Tempest & Serena is available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle (http://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Tempest-Serena-ebook/dp/B008SV7UZG/ref=la_B004OB10M8_1_1_title_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1345468668&sr=1-1.

If you’d like to know more about children’s author, Marty Mokler Banks, you can visit her website at http://martymoklerbanks.com/index.html.

And if I may impose on your patience another minute, I need to mention three quick items of importance:

1.      Please don’t forget we are accepting nominations for your favorite school or classroom to win a copy of Show Me How!  All you have to do is leave a comment on one of my posts…telling which school should get a copy.  At the end of September, we will select a dozen winners using Random.org.

2.      On Wednesday, I watched the LIVE Google+ broadcast of The Happy Mommy Handbook with Susan Case and Katie Norris.  It was lots of fun…and I joined the after-hangout chat when the program was over.  I don’t know if any of you have done Google+ Hangouts…it was kind of like Skype…real-time face-to-face interaction.  All three of us agreed that we’d like to do a program together…perhaps addressing the subject of bullying.  I’ll let everyone know when that will happen.

3.      Regarding bullying…I will be interviewed on the 9News morning show on Monday, August 27th at 8:20am (Mountain Time).  If you click on their link, I think it will be able to see it…unless, of course, you are in Denver and get that channel and can watch on your TV.  We will be talking about the Subtle Signs of Bullying and what steps parents can take.  This is an important topic, especially with school just starting.  Let’s stop bullying in its tracks!  I’ll be doing an article about it next week.