Roughhousing, hazing and bullying; three terms we hear all too often when describing traumatic events that occur in school locker rooms. “At any point someone feels uncomfortable or not an active participant, anytime someone is not in a dominant situation. Someone is being hurt verbally, emotionally, physically,” said Mindy Brown, a certified therapist at Parkridge Valley.
She said the best thing a parent can do is talk to their child. Brown treats dozen of children and young adults at Parkridge Valley. Many of them agree on one thing. “The most important thing I hear from children is they have a desire to feel safe. They want to know they are speaking to a trusted individual. In a safe place.”
The conversations don't always have to be a difficult. “A puzzle, a board game, go to the park to throw the ball around. Put away the phones. Make sure proper attention is on the situation.”
And most importantly, she said let them know something will be done. “If there is any danger, reach out to a professional to make sure your kids are safe. That is the number one concern, to make sure kids are safe.”
That advice doesn't only apply if you think your child could be hazed or bullied. It applies to the kids witnessing it too. If you need back up from a professional, the therapists at Parkridge Valley are ready to help. They offer services for children dealing with emotional and behavioral challenges.