As an integral part of National Bullying Prevention Month, tomorrow is Spirit Day. Does your child’s school have a GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance), partake in GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) sponsored activities? Will the students and faculty be wearing purple to show solidarity for LGBT youth and stand against bullying?
Too many students are bullied each day yet fail to tell their parents. Many children will feel humiliated and ashamed and actually believe they are responsible for being victimized. Advises psychiatrist Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D., co-author of When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know ( Sterling, 2016), “ don’t blame your child!”
It’s important for a child to know that their home, school, community will want to protect him. Emphasize that bullying shouldn’t be tolerated. He is entitled to an education in a safe environment.
Here are clues so you can recognize the signs of bullying:
- Sudden resistance to go to school.
- A decrease in making social plans after school or on the weekends.
- Feigning illness to avoid school and other events.
- Recurrent damage to or loss of property or clothes.
- Has the child had some mood changes?
- Does your child seem depressed, less communicative, not hungry or eating all the time?
- Is he withdrawing from family activities or general interests he loves?
- Is the child becoming insecure showing a low self-esteem and worthlessness?
When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know
For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.