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Anti Bullying Tips
Bullying and Fighting
Thinking that they are so clever, bullies continue their harangues against any and all people that get in their line of sight. Bullies work at being bullies. They research the cruelest things to say to people and say them with cruel intentions.
Getting attention is what bullies are after. They want the power associated with knocking down the people they come in contact with. Some do this rather charmingly, others just come right out and taunt you.
Attention is what bullies crave. They may have been ignored as children or abandoned by their parents. The only other friends they have are other bullies. There is a specific cliché in life that they fail to follow:
"If you can't say something nice about a person, don't say anything at all".
Last year, about one in five school children were bullied. The number is increasing every year and the depression and suicide statistics may correlate with the frequency and amount of bullying.
October is National Bully Prevention Month. Let's jump in and help our community to avoid bullies.
How to Respond to a Bully
What are the Signs of Bullying?
Signs to look for if you suspect your child is being bullied:
- Unexplained injuries - children come home with cuts and bruises, they try to blame it on normal school injuries like children get while playing sports or just normal P. E. (physical education).
- Your child keeps losing things like jewelry, books or clothing. Bullies like to 'steal' trophies from their victims.
- Your child will fake an illness to stay home from school, a lot.
- Unusual hunger due to having to skip lunch at school. They may want a regular meal when they come home from school, even though dinner is only a couple of hours away.
- You child may have difficulty sleeping and have nightmares or crying spells at night.
- Avoiding school and certain classes may cause a drop in grades. Lacking an interest in certain subjects or school in general may be a tip off.
- Your child will lose friends and may not want to participate in school activities.
- Expressions of low self esteem will be a clue that your child is buying into the hurtful remarks of a bully.
- Depression may lead to thoughts of suicide, running away from home and self-destructive behavior.
What if you suspect your child of being a bully? What are the signs that they have become a bully?
- Your child may spend a lot of time on FaceBook (or other social media) and send out a lot of disparaging posts. Some may even be criminal.
- Getting into a lot of fights and being boastful about it or just trying to justify the fights may be a clue.
- Your child's friends may be bullies. The friends boast about their accomplishments as a bully.
- Your child may become aggressive and talk back to you. They may use curse words and think it's acceptable to do so.
- Bullies stand out in a class and the teacher may reprimand them or send them to the principle's office frequently.
- You may find unusual items in your child's room. These are things bullies take as 'trophies' from their victims. They may even extort money from their victims.
- Your child blames 'the system' a lot. They think they have rights beyond the usual privileges that other children have.
- Bullies are competitive and always want to come out on top of every situation, but if they fail to do so, they blame others for their situation.
These things are also true of adults - substitute work for school and the list is the same.
Debate Clubs Can Teach You About Bullying
Bullies and Bullying
Suicides have recently beat out car accidents as the number one cause of death in the country. The number one cause of suicide is the feeling of losing control of your life, becoming depressed about this and feeling that there is no solution to life's problems other than death.
Bullies contribute an astounding amount of time to making people feel worthless. The bullied child (or adult) becomes unable to fight back. Their self image is destroyed. They wish they were never born. It takes years of psychotherapy to restore the self esteem that is destroyed by bullying.
The more a bully practices the act of bullying, the more adept they become at it. They feel powerful and in control. They brag about how much better they are than so-and-so. A bully needs special counseling to get over their cruel practices. Punishment doesn't seem to work as a bully will note this as a signal of accomplishment. Attention in any form is what stimulates a bully.
Anger Serves No Purpose
Tips to Stop Bullying
Bullying is dangerous. Bullies may be the reason for a person's suicide or suicide attempt. A bully and a bully's victim may need prolonged counseling.
Follow best practices for dealing with bullies and their victims. Never take sides. Provide first aid if needed. Provide counseling if appropriate. Take a community interest in anti-bullying campaigns. Parenting is difficult, learn about parenting a bully or how to help your child if they are being bullied.
How to Deal With Bullies and Victims
What to do or say
Witnessing a bully in action
Intervene, call for help, separate the participants, get participants to a safe location, stay calm and reassuring
Be on best behavoir!
Someone is ignoring the situation
Get involved and offer to help, not judge
Join an anti-bullying group
Bully feels right in bullying
Explain to the bully that these types of actions are inapropriate and there are better ways to handle a situation.
Don't force them, guide them
Don't question witnesses, just say that this is not the way to handle conflicts
Don't judge a bully or the victim
If a weapon is involved
Call the police
Express zero tolerance for weapons
Bullying seems to be hate related due to race, sexual orientation or ethnicity
Don't judge, but never accept hate related causes
Get psychological help
Serious bodily harm or sexual violence
Safely intervene immediately, Call the police, separate everybody
Always question perpetrators, witnesses and victims one on one in a quiet, calm place
If extortion is involved - stealing money or items
Call the police and report the crime. Explain that stealing and extortion are crimes.
Recommend psychological rehabilitation.
Resolution Tactics for Bullies
- Bullies sometimes 'act out' because of difficulties at home. Try to get at the root of the problem and get a bully some help with positive activities and coping mechanisms.
- Just as bullies bully others, it may be because they are bullied themselves. These people need mental health counselors and professional help.
- Send a bully to a support class designed for bullies. They may need to participate in discussions, role-playing and other activities relating to cause and effect caused by bullying.
- The bully needs to write an apology letter to his or her victim. They may need to provide restitution for their actions.
- Community service is a way to help the bully interact with the community. Getting a bully involved with good deeds may teach leadership instead of bullying.
Anti-bullying Tips That do not Work
Attitude and Behavior:
Your attitude on driving fast - You believe you can control your vehicle while driving beyond the posted speed limits.
You are driving above the speed limit along the freeway and see a cop. Your behavior is to immediately take your foot off the gas to avoid a speeding ticket.
The cop moves out of the picture and your attitude re-instates itself. You speed up.
There really is no way to control attitude. Behavior modification is the way to fight against bullying. Therefore, never demand an "attitude adjustment".
- Never demand peer evaluation - A bully and a victim are not peers.
- Group treatment does not work with bullies. They tend to reinforce each other.
- Consequences such as forced separation (expulsion) do not help to integrate bullies with their peers.
To Bully or Not to Bully
Have you ever experienced bullying?
© 2012 Lela