Bullying is number one concern for parents in national poll

One child care expert said bullying can begin in the preschool age range. She said it is best for parents to teach their children to have an assertive voice. (MGN Online)

A new national poll by the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital at the University of Michigan found bullying is parents' number one concern for children in 2017. The poll found one in three parents are concerned about bullying and cyberbullying.

One child care expert said bullying is not just a problem facing older kids and teenagers.

"I think social media plays a part as children get to formal school school and a bit older, but there certainly are concerns at the preschool level as well so I think it depends on age," Julie Schmitz said.

Schmitz said bullying in younger children is typically caused by an inability to communicate.

"It's just learning boundaries, learning respect, and learning to control our impulse control that if we can perceive bullying and the person doing the bullying as they lack the skills to communicate versus they're just doing it to be mean because the bully is probably trying to be your child's friend but doesn't know how to," Schmitz said.

Schmitz said she recommends parents teach their children to have an assertive voice when addressing bullies.

The poll found other top health concerns for parents included:

  • Not enough exercise
  • Unhealthy eating
  • Drug abuse
  • Internet safety
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Suicide
  • Depression
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Stress
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