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Bullying Among School Aged Kids and Young Adults.
I had to take a moment to research the issue of bullying today. I never realized or paid attention to the affects bullying has on students until my 12 year old daughter broke down and told me that she has been bullied for the past three years. My daughter is very beautiful, intelligent and she loves to play tennis. She is an odd ball who likes to stand out from the crowd. Every year when school is out, she attends an 8 week tennis camp which helps her to build on her tennis skills. Well, this year her training was cut short. My daughter called me, crying hysterically because she could not take the group of girls that had been bullying her since the 5th grade any longer. She said, “mom I have tried to be friends with these girls for the longest, but no matter how nice I try to be to them they still make fun of me and make me feel bad.” She told me she wanted to leave because she can not take it anymore. I told her that people are going to talk about her and have bad things to say about her for the rest of her life. I said, you cannot let anyone get in the way of your success and joy. She said, “mom I have tried to ignore them and find ways to make them stop. I am to the point where I cannot take it anymore. Can you please come and pick me up?” I drove two hours to where my daughter was attending camp. When I got there I told her that we were going to speak to the facility supervisor and her training coach about this issue. She said, “It is only going to make things worse and she just rather leave.” She told me about another girl that was being bullied at her school and when this girl parents spoke to the principal of the school and the teachers. The people who were bullying this girl, caused physical damage to the girl being bullied. This girl was then taunted and labeled at the school as being a snitch. At this point, I did not know what to do. So, I got on the Internet to research some ways in which I could help my daughter without causing attention. What I found made me angry and sad. I wanted to share the information that I came across, so that it maybe a eye opener for parents who have children that are being bullied. Or, parents who have children that are bullying other children.
Bullied to Death in America's Schools
- A bully will keep bullying as long as they are allowed too.
- 1 in 4 children who are bullies will have a criminal record before the age of 24.
- Although much bullying happens where adults cannot see or hear it, it also happens when adults are present. Often adults do not do anything to stop the bullying.
Physical, Verbal, Indirect and Cyberbullying
Bullying can be physical, verbal, indirect, or take place on the internet, which is called cyberbullying. Spitting, hitting, kicking and scratching are signs of physical bullying. Racial or sexist jokes or slurs, teasing, offensive remarks and name calling is verbal bullying. Spreading rumors about someone verbally or through the internet is called indirect bullying. Threatening text messages, phones call via cell phone and through email is called cyber bullying.
- 160,000 children miss school every day due to bullying.
- Grades K-12, there are 1 in 7 students who are either a bully or a victim of bullying.
- The percentage of students who witness bullying is 56%
- The number of students that are physically attacked in middle school is 282,000 .
- School shootings are a result of bullying.
What to Do If Your Child is the Bully?
No parents wants to hear that their child is a bully. Yet, the key to stopping the cycle of bullying is parental involvement. If you suspect that your child is a bully; or if you have had to go to your child's school on several occasions because of their behavior, related to bullying. Then here are a few steps to take.
- Let your child know of your knowledge of his or her behavior. Also, advise him or her that it will not be tolerated and there will be consequences if their behavior does not change.
- Talk to your son or daughter about his or her behavior. Find out where their aggressive behavior is coming from. Find solutions to help him or her deal with their anger. Stayed involved in the child's activities inside of school and outside. Talk to his or her teachers and request a weekly report of his or her behavior.
- Limit the amount of television your child watches or monitor what your child is watching. If you notice that your child is watching violent television programs. Establish rules and enforce rules of not watching violent television programs and do not buy your child video games with violent content. Also, if there is any violence in the home, watch what your child sees and hear. Children are not born with violent behaviors and aggressive attitudes. This is something that they learn from their parents.
- Teach your child how to be kind, compassionate and empathetic towards others. If you have to buy them a pet and have your child care for the pet as if he or she was caring for a human being.
- If your child's behavior is out of your reach and you feel overwhelmed. Seek professional help from a counselor, therapist, or an adult within the family your child looks up to or can relate too.
Bullies are made, not born.
Actions to Take If Your Child is Being Bullied
Bullying will not go away on its on and if it does. Your son or daughter will be left with a low self-worth and self-esteem, which will impact them as a person on into adulthood. However, there are steps to take to avoid this.
- If your son or daughter comes to you and confides in you about the bullying he or she has been experiencing. Do not get upset because your child did not come to you sooner. Keep in mind, your child has been traumatized by the bullying he or she is experiencing. Having a strong emotional reaction to this new found information may make your son or daughter drawback and not want to tell you about the bullying or anything else. Ask questions calmly, make sure your child feels supported, safe and applaud your child for coming to you and opening up about their problems.
- Reward your child for their good behavior and actions. Acknowledge their strengths, talents and sills. Tell them they are beautiful and handsome. Take notice of what they are wearing when they go out or to school and compliment them.
- Talk to your children and ask them how their day was at school. If they were being bullied and it stopped. Continue to ask questions, in order to see how things are going in their life after the bullying has stopped. Talk to your child's teachers or mentors and see if they have noticed any unusual behavior.
If you watched the video above, you heard how parents have gone to the schools and talked to the principals and members of the school board. You heard how the schools did not take action against bullying and disregarded it like it was nothing. Because these schools did not do anything to prevent their children from being bullied, does not mean that your child's school will not do anything to prevent your son or daughter from being bullied. As parents it is our duty to protect our children. I believe when it comes to protecting my daughter that I have to use every resource that is at my disposal. I am a fighter and I want her to be too. I could take the easy way out and find her another school and training camp to attend. But, happens when she encounters the same problem at another school or another training camp. If the school will not help, go to the school board. If the school board will not help, go to the mayor. If the mayor will not help, get a lawyer and file charges against the parents whose children are bullying your child. No matter what, do not give up on the fight to stop your child from being bullied. Always encourage your child to keep their heads up and walk proud. Instill in them on a daily basis the value of their self-worth.