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How To Stop Bullying
Here we will give you suggestions and resources on how to stop bullying.
Is your child being bullied at school?
Is your child being bullied on social media otherwise known as cyberbullying?
Furthermore, how do you prevent becoming a victim in the first place?
The definition of a bully is someone expressing repeated aggressive behavior intended to hurt another individual either physically, emotionally or mentally.
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Most kids have been teased by siblings or friends. Ordinarily, the teasing is playful and mutual and not usually harmful.
On the other hand, when the use of force, threats, abuse or coercion are present the behavior turns into bullying.
My Daughter Was Bullied At School
My youngest daughter was bullied during the third grade.
One of her very good friends began teasing her and a couple other girls.
Then the bully brought other children into the mix to also tease my daughter and her friends.
By the way, these girls were only nine years old!
My daughter was devastated and didn’t understand how someone who was supposed to be her good friend could deliberately hurt her.
She kept asking why she wouldn’t stop bullying her when she asked.
It went on for months before our daughter told us what was happening to her at school.
My daughter has a lot of friends and could even be described as popular. She is outgoing and plays sports all year round.
It seemed like she didn’t fit the “profile” of a victim, so we never suspected a thing.
However that did not stop us from believing her right from the beginning.
“STRONG PEOPLE STAND UP FOR THEMSELVES. BUT THE STRONGEST PEOPLE STAND UP FOR OTHERS” ~author unknown
How Did We Stop The Bullying?
By the time we found out about the bullying it was beyond the control of just my wife and I.
To begin with we immediately contacted our daughter’s teacher.
My wife also called the bully’s parents too, who were actually friends of ours.
But this left us with a very insulted teacher and no action.
Meanwhile those friends of ours would no longer speak to us. No one wants to believe their child could deliberately hurt and manipulates others.
Both the teacher and our friends claimed they didn’t see any of that kind of behavior, but they would watch out for it.
This angered us. They implied that our daughter was lying.
We Needed Intervention To Help Stop The Bullying
The parents of the other two victims also spoke up.
After that we had to ask the principal to intervene.
The principal stepped in right away without hesitation.
And together with the principal and guidance counselor, we were able to stop the bullying.
If we had to do it again we would react the same way. Fast and firm. We were not going to tolerate any degree of bullying.
In the end, my daughter and her friends learned a valuable lesson on how to treat others and what is acceptable behavior among their peers.
And since then the girls have helped to prevent the bullying of other children at their school.
Characteristics Of The Bully
First of all, the bully is usually bigger and stronger than the victim.
A bully probably has trouble following rules.
It seems like they are always being disciplined for something, but never really caring about the consequences.
A kid that is looking to improve their stature at school may also become a bully.
Sometimes bullies are popular. But most of the time the bully isn’t any more popular than the victim. Although they want to be.
Making others feel afraid of them makes them feel more important and to them, more popular.
There are often times that a bully is loud and just looking for attention. Maybe they don’t receive attention at home so they try to force someone to pay attention to them at school.
The goal of the bully is to intimidate the victim so that the victim feels inferior and distressed.
Above all it’s done intentionally and it’s done to alter the balance of power in the bully’s favor.
Why Does Someone Become A Bully?
A bully usually experiences some degree of abuse at home.
As a result, they sometimes look for someone else to take their anger out on outside of the home.
To the bully, acting aggressively is normal and is the only behavior they know.
Maybe they want to gain attention or popularity by making themselves feel more relevant.
Because to a bully, making others feel small makes them feel strong at school, while they are feeling weak at home.
In their eyes, it will make them more popular and in control.
Due to all these circumstances, they just don’t know how to stop bullying others.
How The Bully Chooses A Victim
Usually bullying happens at school.
Bullies can be very calculated when choosing their “victim”.
Here are the characteristics that a bully looks for in their victim:
- Insecure personality~ A child who appears weak or acts submissively and anxiously. Someone who will do anything you tell them to even if it could be dangerous or get them into trouble.
- Lower peer acceptance~ Particularly a child who is not very popular and spends a lot of time alone. Someone who doesn’t appear to have a lot of friends. To a bully that means that neither the victim or the victim’s friends will fight back.
- Different~ Someone of a different race or ethnicity. Someone who dresses differently or participates in certain activities or religions. For example LGBT students report a high rate of verbal bullying.
- Has special needs~ Someone with behavioral or emotional disorders, such as autism. Many times a child with a speech or language disability is targeted.
“COURAGE DOESN’T ALWAYS ROAR. SOMETIMES COURAGE IS THE QUIET VOICE AT THE END OF THE DAY SAYING ‘I WILL TRY AGAIN TOMORROW.” ~Mary Anne Radmacher
Why Kids Don’t Tell
Kids are usually ashamed and embarrassed and feel that their parents will blame them for allowing themselves to be a target.
Maybe they are afraid their parents will be disappointed or not even believe them in the first place.
They fear they will be told to fight back even when they are scared to.
It’s probable that the bully threatened the victim not to tell anyone.
A victim may be afraid the bully will find out they told and come at them even harder. It makes a victim keep the bullying to themselves.
Types of Bullying
There are many types of bullying. Here are the four most common forms of bullying:
- Physical~ A bully will use physical force by hitting, blocking, tripping or pushing, thereby leaving bruises or damaged clothes.
- Emotional~ A bully attacks on an emotional level such as in a relationship. For example they will spread rumors, exclude someone from certain activities, refuse to talk to someone or say things that they know will hurt someone’s feelings.
- Verbal~ A bully resorts to name calling, making threats or making disrespectful comments about someone’s appearance, race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation.
- Cyber/Social Media~ A bully will post pictures and messages on social media. They will spread lies and rumors and mock their victim. But unfortunately with social media the identity of the bully isn’t always known.
Effects Of Bullying
A bully can leave behind physical scars and injuries on their victims.
Victims may be injured or have their property destroyed.
Consequently, those that have been bullied are at a higher risk for both mental health or behavioral problems.
A victim may be so traumatized that they need to seek help from a health professional.
Examples of long term effects can be anxiety, eating disorders or an inability to form deep relationships.
Extreme situations can lead to tragedy.
For instance a bully can push a victim to suicide or participation in a school shooting.
*NOTE: Suicide has been linked to bullying, however, it is usually coupled with a form of depression, substance abuse or a complicated home life.
How To Help Someone Who Has Been Bullied
One in four students experience bullying, but less than half of the victims actually report it.
And girls rather than boys are more likely to be bullied.
But they are less likely to report the abuse.
Once you are informed or if you even just suspect bullying may be going on, you need to start taking the steps to protect your child.
Most importantly, always take action with bullying.
In particular, the parents need to listen closely and compassionately to their child and reassure them that you will get through it together.
Firstly, talk with the teachers and counselors. They are the best sources to monitor the situation and help prevent future problems.
Next it may be necessary to talk to the bully’s parents.
However while speaking with the bully’s parents you should use a mediator such as a teacher.
What Should You Do To Make A Bully Stop Bulling?
Adults that respond quickly to bullying behavior shows the victim that bullying is never acceptable, and there will be consequences for those actions.
The course of action will be determined by the severity of the situation, the ages of the victims and bullies and the type of bullying.
Be sure to praise your child for coming forward and talking about it.
Assure them that you believe them and that you will do everything you can to protect them.
Equally important, reassure them that they did nothing wrong. It is the bully who is wrong.
Another thing you can do to help is talk nightly about what happened in school that day.
Most of all make your child feel that you are a safe place to turn to.
Advice For The Victim
Don’t say fight back. Tell them not to respond and instead to walk away before it escalates.
Suggest using the buddy system so your child is not alone with the bully.
Try to have your child avoid places where there is a risk of crossing paths with the bully.
For example, have your child walk a different route to school or to their classes to avoid a potential problem.
The bully wants to get a reaction from their victim.
So teach your child to hold in their feelings. Have them practice not getting angry or fighting.
Teach your child to pretend that the bully has no effect on them and that they are uninterested.
As a result sometimes just ignoring the aggressor can get them to stop.
Remind them that laughing at a bully will only provoke him, so instead act brave. And after that tell the bully firmly to stop and then walk away.
The goal is obviously to put an end to the bullying. And hopefully the bully will eventually get bored or get in trouble and will stop.
In the meantime, show your child “cool down” strategies such as taking deep breaths or writing down their feelings.
How To Stop Bullying In The Future
Monitor your children’s online activity. Limit their access to social media and take advantage of the parental control settings on your child’s phone and computer.
Encourage your child to focus on the good things that are happening.
Such as spending time with friends that have a positive influence.
Regularly talk to your children about their fears, state of mind and sense of safety.
In addition to talking with your children, keep raising them to be strong and teaching them to be respectful of others and their property.
And one of the best gifts you can ever give to someone is to teach them that they are worthy and have a voice.
Above all, self respect is something never to be undervalued or taken for granted.
Laws And Policies To Stop Bullying
You have a right to fight for your child’s safety.
In fact, you can take legal action if things get too out of hand.
State and local lawmakers have taken action to prevent bulling and protect children. Each jurisdiction addresses it differently.
- To find out the regulations in your community you can go to stopbullying.gov
2. Go to Understood.org to learn more about bullying.
Resources For Anti-Bullying
1. If you know someone who may be contemplating suicide, you can find help resources at suicidepreventionlifeline.org
2. For resources on harassment in the classroom you can go to Edutopia.org
3. For information on Cyberbullying go to connectsafely.org
Thank you to all our “friends” who helped SOURCE this post!
Sources for this post:
- Typeslist.com “Types Of Bullying”
- KidsHealth.org “Dealing With Bullies”
- Stopbullying.gov “What Is Bullying”
- Preventingbullying.promoteprevent.org “What Is Bullying”
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~PLEASE REMEMBER THAT KINDNESS MATTERS~
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