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Parents Learn How to Brush Off Bullies

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Clinical psychologist Dr. Joel Haber gave an anti-bullying lecture to an auditorium filled with parents at Hastings High School on Wednesday night.

Haber led his lecture off by breaking down the different types of bullying, explaining there are four types of bullying, including physical bullying, which is on the decline, while other types are on the rise. Then there is verbal bullying and relational bullying, which he said can be the most painful to kids because of exclusion from the group.

"When kids are excluded, their need to connect is at risk," Haber said.

The fourth type of bullying, and the newest one, is cyber bullying, which Haber described as "the great nightmare" because it can be so easy for kids to attack others with today's technology.

When asked why kids bully each other, Haber said it was due to a pecking order at school.

"Kids are looking to find their place on the social ladder," Haber said.

In somewhat of a revelation to the crowd, Haber said that it isn't necessarily short, overweight or otherwise different children that are bullied more than others.

"What determines [the bullying] many times is how they react to it," he said. "If I don't engage you, you change the game."

While so many cases of bullying come from kids being excluded, Haber said that it's important for kids to have friends in different groups and to build these friendships through sports, clubs, religion etc. Simply having a friend to support them can be huge, according to Haber.

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