What does health insurance and health care have to do with bullying? Well maybe nothing or maybe it has a lot to do with it; maybe more than we would like or even imagine. I’m not sure but I feel compelled to speak about an event that occurred on October 18, 2013 that involved my daughter Grace and I. I think that it’s important to state here that I have health insurance, good health insurance. I am a retired high school administrator and receive an excellent health care package from the state of New Jersey. So, this is not going to be a complaint fest. It’s something that I am speaking about because my eyes were opened to a few things that are worth sharing as the topic of health care has become so divisive in our country. I’m not a politician, just an average Joe but things happen at times that just trouble me.
I received a call on Friday morning from the nurse of Grace’s school. She informed me that Grace was experiencing a great deal of pain on her right side and should be taken to a doctor or to the emergency room at our local hospital to rule out appendicitis. I drove over to the school picked up Grace and headed to the hospital’s emergency room. We walked in and filled out a form with all of the basic information needed by the hospital. We then sat and waited to be called for what they call triage. About ten minutes later a nurse called us in to an examining room and asked us for the same information that was on the form I just filled out and entered it into a computer. She asked Grace some basic questions about her condition took her vital signs and told us we would be called back in when a bed was available. In about 15 minutes we were called back in, directed to a room where Grace put on her hospital gown and waited. Waited for what I hoped would be a doctor. Well, the door opened and in came a woman with a portable computer and asked us for the same information that I just gave to the triage nurse. I hope you are counting. A nurse came in occasionally and tucked Grace in, took her temperature, asked her how she was feeling and left. We just wanted to see a doctor and get a diagnosis.
After about an hour a woman came in, gave us her name and identified herself as the nurse practitioner. She examined Grace and told her that her pain was in the area of her appendix and that she was going to order a CAT scan. My question was and still is; where was the doctor? I mean I have good health insurance right, so why was my daughter being examined by the doctor’s underling? The next thing that happened was a tech came in to schedule the CAT scan and asked Grace the same questions that the other three people asked her previously. How many times do they need this information? Well Grace had her CAT scan, and we found out after a six hour stint in the ER that she was constipated. She was told to go home take a laxative and eat more fiber.
Well, now the rant. As stated earlier I have good health insurance as do many people but, that doesn’t matter, because health care, not health insurance has become a political football in this country. The government was shut down because of it, patients who are in the hospital pay $60 dollars for Tylenol because of it, the mind of everyone is focused on it, the media talks about it, and quite frankly I am sick of IT. What’s the difference between health insurance and health care? Health insurance is what you have or will have when you apply online and receive the health insurance that will be assigned to you by the government. To many people this is a life saver. Some people think that it is for FREE. It’s not, the co-pays are huge, the deductibles are between 2 and $10,000, and based upon your income you will have to pay a monthly premium. Health insurance is what you have or will have; health care is what you get. The quality of the care will be determined by how much the doctors, clinics, and hospitals can afford to offer based upon how much they receive from the insurance companies. My quality health insurance does not guarantee me quality health care. I can see any doctor I want but my care will be based upon the doctors revenue overall. If my doctor has huge overhead and he is treating patients with huge co-pays and deductibles the chances are pretty good that when he is done treating those patients he will be waiting around for his money for a good long while. The results for someone like me; I receive the same health care as does everyone else.
Let me get this straight right now, I am pleased that everyone will receive health insurance. But, I want them to be aware often what is believed to be a life saver can be a killer. Many people are broke in this country right now. What are they supposed to do when the doctor wants his co-pay, or when they can’t afford to pay the minimum insurance premium, or when something catastrophic happens and their insurance doesn’t cover it, or when money has to be paid to meet their deductible? The government will have to eat those numbers and that will drive up the national debt all the more.
I am just an average Joe which I said already, I worked for 30 years to receive the great health insurance that I now have. But, I can see already that if an emergency room doesn’t have a doctor but has a nurse practitioner working the floor someone will pay and I don’t mean monetarily. Did I feel bullied the other day? Of course I did. I was forced to accept the unacceptable because there was no other alternative. Are we being bullied as a country? Of course we are, the problem is though the country doesn’t even realize it.
While much of the focus of the anti-bullying movement is focused on the victims, there are many children who participate in bullying who need help as well. When parents learn that their child is involved in bullying another child, it can be a very difficult time for them. It is important to address this issue immediately to avoid further conflicts and worsening behavior.
The first step in helping your child with this difficult time, is to fully understand bullying and the possible causes of this behavior. Bullying often occurs as a result of a child feeling insecure. The act of bullying provides that child with a feeling of power and worth. Bullying can also be a result of a child’s lack of understanding that what they are doing is wrong, and it is often an outcome of emotional confusion brought on by anger, frustration or any number of things.
While addressing this issue with your child, it is important to be firm and let them know that there will be serious consequences if this behavior is continued, while also being as understanding as you possibly can. The first step is to analyze your home life and try to understand the roots of the issue. Improvement always starts at home, so make sure you are always doing your best to provide a good example regarding appropriate behavior. Make sure that they know that what they are doing is wrong and explain the reasons why.
To address the situation, start by opening the lines of communication between yourself and your child to understand why they are doing this. Do your best to learn about your child’s relationships and social lifestyle. Who they are and aren’t hanging out with can have a tremendous effect on their behavior. It is also often helpful to get in touch with your child’s friend’s parents, teachers, and school administration about the issue to gain insight into the behavior. Most importantly you should teach your child the values of treating others kindly, and provide a lot of positive reinforcement for good behavior.
There are many different causes of bullying and some are more obvious than others. Often times what children experience at home, whether it be physical altercations with siblings or yelling among parents and relatives, can have a negative effect on their behavior elsewhere. Speak to teachers, other faculty and coaches to get a sense of what might be causing your child’s behavior. If it seems like it may be caused by a difficulty controlling anger or other emotions, then seek the help of a health professional. It can be a slow and laborious process to help a child stop bullying, but doing so is sure to help them achieve joy and success in their personal and professional lives in the future.
Tyler Clark works for Liahona Academy and is an expert on bullying prevention.
Please credit the author of this article and do visit www.npr.org for more great articles on this topic and many others. I merely did the posting.
Victims Of Bullying Are More Likely To Be Arrested As Adults
by Nancy Shute
August 01, 2013 3:40 PM
Children who are bullied over time are more apt to struggle as adults.
You’d expect bullies to grow up to get in trouble with the law.
But children who are consistently bullied also are more likely to run afoul of the law as adults, including being arrested and jailed.
Almost 14 percent of people who said they were bullied repeatedly in childhood and their teens had been in prison, compared to 6 percent of people who weren’t bullied, according to a study.
Women who were repeatedly bullied before age 18 were more likely to use alcohol or drugs than men, and also more likely to be arrested and incarcerated.
“Males and females are different,” says , an associate professor with the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, who led the study. “Females tend to be a little more vulnerable.”
Most violence research doesn’t look at whether victims are more likely to become offenders, Turner says. He looked at data from 7,335 people who were between the ages of 12 and 16 in 1996. They were part of the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which followed them for 14 years.
Fifteen percent said they had been bullied repeatedly in childhood. Six percent said they were bullied after age 12. And 5 percent said they had been victimized both in childhood and in their teens. These chronic victims were the ones most apt to have substance abuse and criminal justice problems as young adults.
“The walkaway from this is being a victim regardless of the time is pretty strongly associated with subsequent legal problems,” Turner told Shots. “But it was the chronic victims who experienced the highest odds of subsequent involvement in the system.”
The survey didn’t ask the participants if they were bullies themselves or measure the type of bullying they received. It was presented Thursday at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in Honolulu.
Other research has found that people who were bullied as children are more likely to have as adults.
Parents and pediatricians should look for signs that a child is bullied, Turner says, and make sure that children get prompt help in managing that adversity, rather than figuring things will get better with time.
“We have to catch them early,” Turner says. “Victimization tends to peak in fifth, sixth, seventh grade. We have to intervene early in the life course and over a sustained period. ”
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Oh yeah, I was an overweight little boy. So much so, that when my mother took me to buy clothes I went to what I thought was a special clothing store for boys like me, fat. Why did I think this? Because when I walked into the store, the opened tie, crossed arm, wrinkled shirt, cigarette smoking salesman, took one look at me from head to toe, looked at my mother, pointed to the back of the store and said, “Husky.” Gee did I feel special, until I discovered that the store I was in was one of the only stores around that sold clothes for fat kids. Sure, I said it, for fat kids, because that’s how I felt like a fat kid, and that’s how I was treated. Special stores for special kids who were fat. My skinny friends bought clothes from all kinds of stores; I was relegated to one store, and one style. I certainly was not one of the cool kids, and at times felt isolated and excluded.
My dad who was a baseball fan encouraged me to try out for little league. I remember during one game, I struck out, thought I walked and ran to third base. A laughing stock; but, my biggest humiliation was not the fact that I didn’t understand the rules of the game but rather, not having a uniform that fit. Why? They didn’t make Husky. I liked and still like baseball, but I was uncool. I was uncool until I was in the seventh grade and attending a Catholic grammar school. We were playing a pick-up game out on the blacktop I and hit a softball about 300 feet. Out of the blue I was cool. During the winter of 1968-69 I lost weight, worked out and got into great physical condition, and in the spring played baseball with anyone who wanted to play. Throughout my teen years I played baseball in The Joe Medwick League, The Babe Ruth League, High School, and American Legion Leagues. Was I that good? No, but I knew how to compete. I could have been better, but I lacked confidence. I still felt the exclusion of the tag that was pinned on me when I was seven years old, Husky.
Kids become overweight for a variety of reason; poor self-control, introduction of a poor diet, anxiety, and comfort, to name a few. Clothes are now made for kids of all shapes and sizes. Clothes should not define a kid, but our society and our culture create such clothes competition that socioeconomic status is defined by the types of clothes kids’ wear causing rumors, gossip, and ridicule in school. Kids don’t know but they should know that they can’t judge a book by its cover and they can’t use clothes as a benchmark for who they choose as friends, and who they associate with.
I have two daughters who have bought a variety of clothes from a variety of stores. When they were younger they always wanted designer clothes and as teenagers lost weight to wear the fashion conscience clothes that their peers wore. Now, they buy clothes from Target or Wal-Mart because frankly designer clothes are too expensive and they just don’t really care anymore. But, when they were younger the true reason they lost weight to wear designer clothes was because designer’s force exclusion by manufacturing clothing that fits only up to size ten. My daughters were not even close to being overweight, and still they had trouble buying designer clothes.
Abercrombie and Fitch have just crossed the line by redefining the word Husky. If you are Husky, shop somewhere else because we don’t make clothes for plump kids. Why? Because cool has been defined as skinny, and those who are not skinny are just uncool. They are encouraging kids strange as it may seem to exclude their peers because of clothes competition and body type. Exclusion is one of the worst forms of bullying that kids experience today. The isolation and the loneliness kids feel is horrific. The hit that a child’s self-esteem takes because of exclusion can last a lifetime. The brainwashing that our kids are experiencing today by the media is going to impact them and possibly their children. We can’t allow our children to isolate, exclude, bully, or harass others because of race, creed, color, or religion. But, truly we can’t allow the subliminal seduction by Abercrombie and Fitch, along with other clothing manufacturers that is redefining us as a culture going forward which is affecting the well being of our children for just being Husky.
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