Raising Healthy Kids: Bullying

PHILADELPHIA - April 30, 2014

Nadin Khoury didn't ask for the spotlight.

The Upper Darby teen was bullied and beaten in 2011. He became an example of the physical and emotional torment that1 in 6 kids experience.

Like many victims, he was likely targeted because he was 'different.'

Nadin says, "They were messing with me because I'm one of the smallest ones, and because my mom is African. They made fun of my mom a lot."

Brooke Paskewich of children's hospital says bullying takes a lot of forms and it differs between boys and girls.

Boys are more physical and girls will often gossip, spread rumors, or leave their target out of activities.

It can start as early as pre-school, so kids need to learn early about bullying. And parents need to recognize when their child might be a victim.

Paskewich added, "If they complain of headaches, stomach aches, being afraid to go to school, avoiding school."

Paskewich said that preventing bullying also starts young.

She teaches kids how to tell when their emotions are getting out of control, and how to defuse that anger.

One tactic is called CIA - Cool it Before Action.

"Kids can take deep breaths, or breathing slowly, said Paskewich."

Another tactic is A.A.A. - assume an accident.

"If you're not 100% sure that somebody did something to you on purpose, give them the benefit of the doubt and assume it was an accident, said Paskewich.

If children witness bullying, Paskewich says they shouldn't just stand by.

They can take the victim and walk away, or go to an adult for help. That takes away the attention the bully wants.

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