CHARLOTTE, N.C. – An estimated 93 percent of teenagers hear a negative comment about their sexual orientation. That number could be even higher, because sometimes those comments aren’t reported.
Thomas Krever, an expert on the impact of sexual orientation bullying in young adults, says this isn’t anything new.
“Bullying is actually very common and it’s most likely to happen in places that are absent of adult supervision, so lockers, hallways, during recess or when parents, teachers and guardians aren’t looking,” Krever says.
He says there are a number of ways to determine if a child is at risk for bullying.
“First, check in with the child, observing their behavior,” Krever says. Do they become withdrawn? Do they look depressed or do they act depressed? Are they starting to pull away from activities? Are they more absent than usual? Are they suddenly showing up late to school or missing it altogether? Are they changing their normal habits or behaviors?”
If you suspect your child may be a bully, Krever suggests you initiate a conversation.
“There’s nothing more powerful that a parent or guardian can do than communicate with your child and listen,” he says.
He also suggests parents and guardians take a look at the child’s home life and try to figure out if the child may be reacting to bullying felt at home.
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