Bullying and our Children.

It’s normal to feel frightened and enraged about any kind of threat to our children’s well being, here are six solutions that can help parents to be effective in taking charge.
1. Stop Yourself from Knee-Jerk Reactions
If you act upset your child is likely to get upset too. They might want to protect you and themselves from your reaction and the older your child is, the more important it is that they’re able to feel some control about any follow-up actions you might take with the school.

2. Get Your Facts Right
Ask questions of your child in a calm, reassuring way and listen to the answers; look for solutions, not for blame. Be your child’s advocate, but accept the possibility that your child might have partially provoked or escalated the bullying.3. Protect Your Child
Your highest priority is to protect your child as best you can. What protecting your child means will vary depending on the ability of the school to resolve the problem, the nature of the problem, and on the specific needs of your child. Each case, like each child is unique.4. Prevent Future Problems
. Concerned parents can help schools find and implement age-appropriate programs that create a culture of respect, caring, and safety between young people rather than of competition, harassment, and disregard.5. Get Help for Your Child
Finally, you want to get help for your child and for yourself to deal with the feelings that result from having had an upsetting experience. Sometimes bullying can remind you about bad experiences in your own past. Getting help might mean going to a therapist or talking with counselors provided by the school or by other agencies.

6. Make this into a Learning Experience
As parents, it’s normal to want to protect our children from all harm but our children of also need the room to grow. Upsetting experiences don’t have to lead to long-term damage if children are listened to respectfully, if the problem is resolved, and if their feelings are supported.

(Abridged from the wonderful students at Antibullyingireland.ie )

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Understanding anxiety disorders

It’s normal to worry and feel tense or scared when under pressure or facing a stressful situation. Anxiety is the body’s natural response to danger, an automatic alarm that goes off when you feel threatened.
In moderation, anxiety isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, anxiety can help you stay alert and focused, spur you to action, and motivate you to solve problems. But when anxiety is constant, excessive or overwhelming, when it interferes with your relationships and activities, it stops being functional — that’s when you’ve crossed the line from ordinary, productive anxiety into the territory of anxiety disorders.

Do your symptoms indicate an anxiety disorder?

If you identify with several of the following signs and symptoms, and they just won’t go away, then it’s possible you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.
• Are you constantly tense, worried, or on edge?
• Does your anxiety interfere with your work, school, or family responsibilities?
• Are you plagued by fears that you know are irrational, but can’t shake?
• Do you believe that something bad will happen if certain things aren’t done a certain way?
• Do you avoid everyday situations or activities because they cause you anxiety?
• Do you experience sudden, unexpected attacks of heart-pounding panic?
• Do you feel like danger and catastrophe are around every corner?

If you’re experiencing a lot of physical anxiety symptoms, consider getting a medical checkup. Your doctor can check to make sure that your anxiety isn’t caused by a medical condition, such as a thyroid problem, hypoglycemia, or asthma. Since certain drugs and supplements can cause anxiety, your doctor will also want to know about any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies, and recreational drugs you’re taking.
If you can rule this out maybe you would benefit from speaking to a psychotherapist in your area. Anxiety disorders respond very well to psychotherapeutic treatment. The specific treatment approach depends on the type of anxiety disorder and its severity. But in general, most anxiety disorders are treated with behavioural therapy, medication, or some combination of the two. Sometimes complementary or alternative treatments may also be helpful.

Fell free to call me, in confidence, on 087 709 74 77 for an appointment.

Extract abridged from helpguide.org 22 July 2012