HOUSTON - As the countdown to the start of the school year winds down, parents should be aware of the warning signs for bullying.
We asked mental health professional and talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw for some insight.
"There was a time when it happened on the playground or in the locker room after gym class," said McGraw. "Now you can think your child is back in their bedroom doing their homework, enjoying music, but they're on a social platform and they may be getting terrorized."
According to McGraw, one in four children is bullied. Forty-three percent of children are cyber-bullied, and about 80 percent of children say they have at least been harassed.
So as parents, it's important to be aware of all the opportunities that exist for your child to be bullied. Then you need to watch out for the warning signs.
"Look for unexplained injuries of course, personal property that disappears without explanation, things that are torn up like their backpack or something in their backpack that you know they wouldn't tear up on their own," said McGraw. "If you notice them withdrawing, making excuses beyond, 'I'm tired I don't want to go.' You need to sit down and let that child understand that telling is not tattling. If they're being bullied, the problem is with the bully and not with them."
The "Dr. Phil" show premieres on September 10 at 3 p.m. on Local 2 followed by Local 2 News at 4.
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