DID YOU KNOW? 1 in 7 students in grades K-12 is either a bully or a victim of bullying.
Bullying is a repeated, aggressive pattern of behaviour with the intention of putting another person down. It is unprovoked and the victim finds it difficult to defend himself. Bullies are perceived as having more power than their victims. This may be caused by their physical size, their strength, status or support from others. Bullies need psychological counselling. Unfortunately, many cases of bullying which have been unattended to, have caused the victim to eventually, sometimes many years later, take drastic action when they could not control the need for revenge.
1. Physical: hitting, punching, pushing, tripping, pinching,
2. Verbal: calling others names, teasing, spreading rumours, making fun of, remarks about culture or looks, spread gossip.
3. Social and emotional: exclusion from a group, ignoring, ostracising, intimidation and threats, stalking, graffiti, threatening notes, cyber bullying – insulting messages on facebook, emails, text messages.
Unfortunately, recent bullying statistics show that bullying is on the rise among young adults, teens and children. The rise in these bullying statistics is likely due to a fairly recent form of bullying seen in recent years called cyber bullying. This type of bullying has gotten immense media attention over the past few years sighting instances of cyber bullying pushed too far, and in many cases leading to cases of teen suicide or death. Many bullying statistics and studies have found that physical assaults have been replaced with constant cyber assaults in the form of bashing, rumors and other hazing content targeted at a single student or group of students.
WHY DO PEOPLE BULLY
People bully because they:
• want to show off and look for recognition
• belittle others to make themselves appear more important
• like to dominate others to make themselves look more powerful
• are self-centred
• may feel insecure or have a complex
• may be angry and need to know how to deal with these feelings
• do not understand empathy
• like others to be afraid of them
• may be bullied themselves at home
• may have a lack of good role models
• have poor social skills
• think they will become more popular
• may have a personality disorder
WHO GETS BULLIED?
• do not know how to deal with someone who is aggressive
• are timid, shy and withdrawn
• are perceived as being different because of race/culture/religion/disability
• are perceived as not fitting in with the crowd
• do not have the same social or economic status
• are too afraid to stand up for themselves or others
EFFECTS OF BULLYING
Look out for these signs:
• change of behaviour
• always feeling sick
• complains of stomach ache
• becomes aggressive in the home towards the other children
• can’t eat
• wants to sleep all the time/depression
• anxiety and fear
• doesn’t want to go out or leave the house
• has “lost” things – like toys, money, pencils
• may have bruises
HOW TO PREVENT YOUR CHILD FROM BEING A BULLY AND/OR FROM BEING BULLIED
Teach your child:
• to have empathy towards others
• how to handle any angry feelings
• to be grateful for what he has
• how to get on with others – good social etiquette
• what bullying actually is
• that it is important to report if they are being bullied or harassed
• to step in and report if others are being bullied or harassed, refuse to let other people become a victim
• the difference between telling tales and telling in order to help. Telling tales is when children “tell on” others to get them into trouble. However, if you or someone else is being bullied, telling someone is not telling tales. Rather it is something good as it prevents others or themselves being hurt
• tell the bully that what hes doing is wrong, loudly, walk away and find help
Tell your child that:
• you will always be there to listen to and help them. Silence will make the problem worse.
• they will not get into trouble or be bullied themselves if they report bullying.
• bullying is a problem.
• the bully needs help.
• the bully is really powerless in the greater scheme of things.
• they will be helping the bully to get counselling if they report it.
• if the bullying is severe, it can be reported to the police.
What steps do you have in place with your children to avoid bullying? What do you tell your child about bullying? What do you think the best means is to dealing with a child who has tendencies towards bullying/a child who has tendencies of being targeted by bullies?