HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Our kids are in school every day with other students. Are there things they should be looking for, so they can help identify someone who's troubled before they act out?
While there are lots of things to look for, the main things we can talk to our kids about are: Someone who has shown excessive anger or has been violent in the past. (of course, not everyone who is angry will be violent, but someone who can't regulate their emotions would be at risk), someone who is socially isolated (we know now that social isolation plays a big factor--those who feel less connected to others may not feel accountable to others), and/or someone who is bullied (kids who are bullied may act out in violence because they don't know what to do with the pain of rejection).
Kids can't really diagnose mental illness, but they can be a big factor in the social isolation and bullying department. You can ask them to invite someone who seems lonely to a play date or they can talk to their teacher about being paired up with someone like that for a school project. They can also stand up for those being bullied. Sometimes all it takes is one kind move for a lonely, isolated child to feel accepted and included.