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Experts tackle a difficult issue during Bullying Prevention Month

Kids with overweight or obesity may suffer long-term effects when they're teased or bullied, often gaining more weight later, a new study finds.
Kids with overweight or obesity may suffer long-term effects when they're teased or bullied, often gaining more weight later, a new study finds.

Bullying is something that can occur in adolescence or in the conference room at work.

Relationship experts are trying to address this behavior at its onset during National Bullying Prevention Month.

“Bullying isn’t about hitting or getting punched in the hallway, sometimes it’s very much mental.”

When it comes to adolescent formation, relationship expert, Dr. Wayne Pernell, says there’s often a struggle to portray one’s authentic self…as for many students “who” they are may still be a mystery.

“Adolescent bullying it’s really about identity… There’s a social norming that takes place where kids feel like that have to try really hard to stand out in order to fit in and if it’s not done quote unquote just right they are not part of the tribe.”

With high social steaks, Pernell says it’s easy for jealousy, reactivity and bullying to enter the conversation, targeting differences amongst one another – he cites diverse cultures as an aiming point.

“Am I worthy am I enough, and for someone that’s been bullied that becomes even stronger…Kids don’t have a large sense of beyond self who they are who their social groups are, so I think it’s really important to expose kids to other cultures.”

Pernell says adults can help curb the onset of bullying by giving kids a sense of contribution to teach them that their actions have an impact, and sometimes changing the mindsets that youth have for success.

“How we handle that in front of our kids, how we choose to move forward with our kids is really important because kids are the barometer of what’s going on in the home.”