Bullying: What Parents Should Know
What Is A Bully
A bully is someone who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker. Typically to force them to do what the bully wants.
Bullying includes physical threats or violence, name-calling and teasing, and social attacks on someone. Bullies can bully others directly, in person, or indirectly, such as by gossiping, through any form of communication, including talking on the phone, writing, texting, and emailing. Bullying occurs in schools, sports, youth groups, workplaces, and even senior centers,
From The Start Of Life
I think everyone at one time or another have been bullied. Bullying has been around since life on this planet has been. You can see bullying in almost all animals like monkeys, dogs, cats, elephants, and dolphins.
There are a lot of theories as to why bullies bully, everything from a need for power to a lack of energy. No one knows what makes someone a bully, but bullying can affect anyone, from husband to wife, or wife to husband, child to parent, or parent to child, in schools, online, or in the office. It does not matter your age, wealth, sex, or religion anyone can fall prey to a bully.
The onslaught of recent news of schoolyard fights, killings, and child suicide attempts because of bullying. It has become a parent's biggest fear that their child is being bullied or is maybe even teased.
How To Tell If Your Child Is Being Bullied
With statics like:
It is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students—source: National Education Association and I.
1 in 5 Students in Grades K-12 is either a bully or a victim of bullying.
Two hundred eighty-three thousand students are physically attacked in secondary schools each month.
87% of 4th through 8th graders report being victims of bullying
Harassment and bullying have been linked to 75% of school-shooting incidents.
1 in 10 students drops out or changes schools because of repeated bullying.
35% of kids have been threatened online. Nearly 1 in 5 have had it happen more than once.
60% have not told their parents or adults about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online.
Parents must know the signs of a child being bullied, because, in more cases than not, your child will not tell you if they are being forced.
These signs are not limited to bullying. These could also be signs of something else with your child, but if any of the characters are present in your child or teen, you need to take the time to look into it further.
1. Unexplained physical marks, cuts, bruises, and scrapes
2. Unexplained loss of toys, school supplies, clothing, lunches, or money
3. Clothes, toys, books, and electronic items are damaged or missing
4. The child does not want to go to school.
5. The child is afraid of riding the school bus
6. Marked change in behavior or personality
7. Seems to be sad, moody, angry, anxious, or depressed, and that mood lasts with no known cause
8. Complaints of headaches, and stomachaches, with frequent visits to the school nurse’s office
9. Difficulty sleeping, nightmares, cries self to sleep, bed wetting
10. Change in eating habits
11. Sudden and a significant drop in grades.
12. The child feels like they are not good enough
13. Talks about feeling helpless, about suicide, or running away
Signs Your Kid is Being Bullied
What To Do If You Suspect Bullying But Are Not Sure
If your child has any signs of being bullied, you need to talk with them to find out for sure. Most kids will not come out and tell you that they are being forced; it is your job as a parent to find out.
While talking to your child, watch and see how they react to each question. Try to notice if they look like they are hiding something or leaving out something. Do not blow off what your child says as regular peer-to-peer fighting or familiar schoolyard issues. It might not be, and it is better to jump the gun and be wrong than to do nothing about bullying. Truly listen and understand what your child is telling you, be supportive, uplifting, and most importantly, reassuring. Do not let your personal feelings get in the way. If you find out your child is being bullied, do not fly off the handle as this might close commutation with the child for later times. Stay calm, be supportive, and take action.
Ask a question; this is the only way to determine if your child is being bullied.
You can ask questions like these below daily to judge how your child is doing.
Did any good things happen to you today? Anything bad?
How was lunchtime? Did any exciting happen?
How was the bus ride to school?
What do you like best about yourself?
If any red flags are raised, you can talk to your child about bullies to make sure they understand what bullies are and can speak to you if they have an issue.
Questions to ask to start a conversation about bullies:
Talk about what bullies are like. Why do you think people bully?
Whom do you trust to talk to when it comes to things like bullying?
Have you ever felt scared to go to school because you were afraid of bullying?
How can I help to stop the bullying?
What do you and your friends usually do when you see bullying?
Have you ever tried to help someone who is being bullied? What happened?
If you are not getting anything out of your child, but you still think something is going on, do not be afraid to talk to friends and classmates.
Poll On Bulling
Where You Ever Bullied? If So Did You Get Help?
What To Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied
If your child tells you or you find out that your child is being bullied, you can take steps to stop it.
- Listen to the child as they tell you about being bullied. Find out who was involved and what happened, and if it has happened more than once.
- Learn all you can from your child. Did other kids or even adults see it? How were they bullied? Where did it happen? Was it before, after, or during school hours, or was it on the bus or walking home or to school?
- Let your child know it is not their fault. That it is a good thing they told you and that bullying is wrong.
- Ask your child if they have any ideas to stop it.
- Let them know you will do something about it, and they no longer need to worry about it. Also, let your child know what you are planning on doing.
- This is the hard one for most parents but contact the school. Let them know that your child is being bullied and what has happened. Most bullying will not stop without adults getting involved, and most schools have anti-bullying programs to aid you and your child.
- If your school does not have one already, talk to your school about starting a no-bullying program, and if your school has one, join it.
- The bullying should stop. Keep talking to your child to make sure it has.
Dr. Phil: What To Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied
Why I Care
Not only do I have three kids myself that I have had to chase a few bullies away from. When I was in High school, I was bullied severely. Not only at school but at home as well as my bully, only lived two houses down from me.
I grew up homeschooled until my 6th-grade year. When I was two years of age, I had an accident that left me with a lousy speech disorder back then. Now it just sounds like an accent from, well, a bit of everywhere. I was 5’4 and maybe 105 lbs with very long black hair and pale skin. I was always picked on and teased, but my bully did not show up until 9th grade.
I would be made fun of for the way I talked, the way I dressed, and was called Wednesday Adams.
I had a love for gymnastics and cheerleading, and my bully found out and beat me up for trying out for the cheerleading team almost every day, as well as called me worthless and many other names I cannot post here. She would put gum in my hair every day on the school bus, and I would come home and spend hours having my mom put peanut butter in my hair, trying to remove it without cutting it.
It got to the point I would no longer ride that school bus and would walk blocks away to catch a different one. I started running away during the summer so I would not have to see her, and at the end of my 10th-grade year, I dropped out of school. There were times when I honestly feared for my life as she had threatened it many times. I did tell my parents, but they told me to ignore it and move on, which was not an option.
Because of the bullying I faced as a child. I do not tolerate bullying in my home or around my kids. My kids know and understand if they are ever bullied or know someone who is, all they have to do is tell me, and I will take care of it.
While bullying may always be around, it is nothing you can find a cure for; you can make sure your child knows your home is safe and that it is OK to talk to about anything.
Hang In There It Dose Get Better!!!!
Some Other Hub I Wrote
- What You Need To Know About Food Safety
Learn about the safest way to store, prep, cook, and eat meat, fish, fruits, dairy, and vegetables and why it matters.