How a child becomes a victim of bullying

Psychologist Mary Jane Rotheram, PhD, shares advice on how a child can become a victim of bullying, including common body language
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How a child becomes a victim of bullying

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A child who is being bullied is called a victim. Almost no children are victims, solely. Most children are both victims and bullies. If your child is a victim, the victim of bullying, they probably communicated by how they carried themselves day to day. We call that "passive behaviour". And you would expect that your child has slumped shoulders; that when they're asked a question they look down at the floor; that they don't make eye contact consistently; that they're voice is small and weak; that if somebody was describing your child the message that their body is giving off is, please don't bother me. Don't push me. Don't ask me to do anything. Nonverbal communication is much, much more powerful than what we say. So we focus on childrens eyes, their facial expressiveness, their body posture, their personal space, how they use their hands, and how they communicate to other people, I feel good about myself or I don't. We share a common understanding of what our body language means. And if your child is a victim, I guarantee their body language is communicating, I feel like a victim.

Psychologist Mary Jane Rotheram, PhD, shares advice on how a child can become a victim of bullying, including common body language

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Mary Jane Rotheram, PhD

Psychologist

Dr. Rotheram-Borus has spent the past 20 years developing, evaluating, and disseminating evidence-based interventions for children and families. She has worked extensively with adolescents, especially those at risk for substance abuse, HIV, homelessness, depression, suicide, and long-term unemployment. Dr. Rotheram-Borus has directed and implemented several landmark intervention studies that have demonstrated the benefits of providing behavior change programs and support to families in risky situations. Several of these programs have received national and international recognition, including designation as model programs by the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently, Dr. Rotheram-Borus has ongoing projects in Uganda, China, and South Africa, as well as the United States. Dr. Rotheram-Borus has authored or co-authored more than 200 journal articles, including publications in Science, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and the American Journal of Public Health. She has received more than 40 grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse to design prevention programs for children and families at high risk for HIV, mental health problems, suicide, and substance abuse. In 2001, Science identified her as number two of the top-funded NIH multi-grant recipients; she was the only woman in the top ten.

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