Freeman Medical Focus: Bullying

JOPLIN, MO-- Bullying can be a serious problem. And parents need to know what to do to help their child - whether their child is the victim or the bully.

"Some of the statistics are that 50% of students have been bullied at some point during their time in school. But 10% are consistently the bully and 10% are bullied." And Dr. Kimberly Fielding says it's equally important for parents to deal with both victims and bullies to prevent future incidents. "The first thing is to stay calm and listen for your child's side of the story. And it's not so much to condone or say that their version is absolute correct, but it's that beginning process of 'I'm listening, I'm here and I'm present.'"

Fielding adds that professional counseling can help change future behavior. "We work from both ends. For those who are bullies to teach them empathy and that we're all equal and that violence doesn't solve problems. And the same with those who are bullied, we teach them assertiveness, how to position themselves as equals."

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