How to Handle Bullying
What is a Bully
A bully is a person that repeatedly harasses or intimidates another person. Bullying can be done in person, over the phone, or online. Online bullying is sometimes referred to as cyber bullying. Cases of bullying have been so severe that the victim has chosen to injure themselves even resulting in their own death. This happens when the victim feels like there is no way out of their situation and they feel like no one can help them.
There are degrees of bullying, a child can be affected by bullies for a short time or it can go on for months and longer. There are many levels and severity of being bullied. Bullying can happen in person or otherwise as previously stated. Most children will say that they have been bullied at least once. There are ways that you can help your child avoid and or combat this problem.
Bullying makes people sad
Tips To Avoid Bullies
- Try to avoid contact with the bully
- If you have to have contact appear self assured, do not show fear (this is what they are after)
- Do not react to their comments or harassing. They may find this amusing.
- Walk away immediately
- If your child is cornered by a school bully your child should do these things to stop bully behavior
- Look around for an adult or check the area for someone that they can call to come and help them.
- Look the bully in the eyes.
- Speak with a strong and tell them to leave them alone.
- Do not become aggressive as this will agitate and challenge them
- Report the bullying immediately to the nearest adult who can help and you as their parent as soon as possible.
How to Avoid a Bully
The following is advice you can give your child so that they can be better prepared if they come in contact with a bully. It is important to note that bullies look for individuals that appear to be weak.
Proper eye contact with a bully and quick turn to walk a way from a bully will show him or her that your child is not afraid and absolutely not interested. If the bully continues to harass your child your they may have to stand up to the bully. Tell your child to stand tall and face the bully, maintain eye contact, and tell the bully to leave them alone.
If your child is soft spoken, shy, or easy going, this could make them a good target for a bully to prey on. Tell your child to always act self assured and to travel in a group of friends or at least one friend. A child who has close friends is less likely to be bullied. A bully will be less likely to pick on them if they have company or that it is well known that your child maintains strong relationships.
Many children have experienced online bullying. Our children are making connections more and more through social media. This presents a new sort of problem that is different from school bullying. The bullies can attack our children virtually over and over again and include a crowd of hundreds of witnesses. This can be quite a challenge because there are only a few states that actually deem that as illegal.
Most schools do not have a strict policy about online bullying and therefore do not intervene. Speak to your child often about their online and social media practices. The online world is largely unregulated and so we, as parents, need to be vigilant when it comes to protecting our child online. States and school districts carry individual policies regarding online bullying, check with your child's school to see what their policies are.
- Tell your child not to provide personal information online
- Not to accept any kind of harassment online
- Delete anyone who harasses them immediately
- Set specific limitations on internet use
- Know which social media sites your child visits and their passwords
Some of these tips may seem extreme and intrusive but it is a good idea for you to be able to check on your child's internet activity. You want to be able to monitor all of the activities that your son or daughter is involved in while on the internet.
Cyber Bullying In School
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Start good communication habits with your son or daughter early in their education. At the end of their day ask them questions about how their day was. Have them give you details about their day, do not accept standard one word answers like "Fine". Show a true interest in their day. It is good to take note of their friends and classmates names, become familiar with as many of your son or daughter's classmates behaviors as possible. Ask how some of their classmates are doing by name.
Ask about their teachers and other school employees. If your student opens up about any teachers always listen closely and allow your children to express their opinions. You never want to have your child feel like you are shutting them down before they finish speaking.
- 25% of children report being bullied
- 20% of children admit to bullying
- 160,000 children miss school a day for fear of being bullied at school
- 43% of children experience fear when they to go to the school bathroom by themselves
- 283,000 children are attacked at school daily
- More attacks occur at school on the way to or from school
- Every 7 minutes a child is bullied, 85% of the time there is no intervention
- According to students they feel that school grounds are not safe
- 43% of students have been bullied online
Understanding The Bully
When we think of bullying we may only think of the person that is being bullied as the one that needs assistance. We should also look at the reasons why a child may be a bully. A child that is bullying could be doing so because of certain factors in their own life. It is important to understand all of the children who are involved.
Kids who bully tend have learned the behavior somewhere, maybe they have a difficult home life. Their parents might do a lot of fighting or yelling when they have disagreements. Or the bully may have unresolved anger or sadness that he or she does not have the skills to deal with.
It is important for the parents and teachers of a child that bullies set definitive rules and gives consistent discipline. If caught early the tendency to bully will be easier to correct.
On The Sidelines
There are also the children who witness the event. It is important to talk to children about the appropriate reactions when they see someone being bullied. They need to know that it is inappropriate to laugh or chime in when someone is being harassed.
Laughing and joining in will only encourage the situation. A child on the sidelines of an event like this may be able to deter the bully if they show disapproval. If a child watching feels that it is unsafe to defend the victim then they should go and find an adult immediately. Let your child know that they should not just walk away from the situation and ignore it.
Stomp out Bullying
Through education about bullying we can decrease these incidents and protect our children. If we handle it correctly will help the bullied and the bully. We can do this together, everyone has an important role.
Adults should take a close look at their own actions in their daily lives and become excellent role models for the children around them. Teaching our children good anger management skills and effective communication skills will create a safer and happier environment at school and elsewhere.
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