Bullying 101

by SKHC Editor on November 5, 2010

They’re everywhere. They can cause fear; anxiety; imagined illnesses and as recent headlines have proven, even suicide. They are the class bullies.

More than 5.7 million youths in America are effected by bullying, partaking either as a bully, victim, or both, according to the most recent statistics provided by the National Violence Prevention Resource Center. This figure does not include the number of unreported cases who do not speak out due to fear or embarrassment.

While bullying has been an issue since essentially the beginning of time, it hasn’t improved much, according to a recent report administered by the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. About 17 percent of students admitted to being bullied at least two to three times a month, the majority of them third graders, according to the report.

The report, which was designed to shed light on the age-old problem of bullying, stresses the importance of education. Students, parents and school administration alike need to be well informed on the causes and signs in order to truly prevent/reduce bullying. The ultimate goal is to make school a safer environment for your child.

So, what is bullying exactly? It’s a type of aggressive behavior that can be shown as early as 4-years-old that can continue into adulthood. Bullying manifests and takes different forms at different ages. It’s important to know that bullying is not gender specific and can occur at home, at school and in cyberspace. Common signs that may suggest your child is a victim of bullying may include withdrawal, a drop in grades, torn clothing, loss of friends, avoidance of school and other activities, bruises, and the need for extra money or supplies.

To prevent your child from being bullied or becoming a bully, check out some of these tips provided by National Crime Prevention Council.

  • As a parent, don’t bully your children yourself, neither physically or verbally. Use nonphysical techniques enforced by disciplinary actions rather than resulting to ridiculing, yelling, or ignoring your children when they misbehave. This can lead to mimicking your behavior or low self-esteem, both contributors to your child developing into a bully.
  • It’s important that you help your child develop the proper social skills he or she needs to make friends. A confident child with friends is less likely to bully others or be bullied.
  • Whenever possible, praise your child’s kindness towards others and show them that their kindness is appreciated and valued.
  • It’s important that you teach your child ways to resolve arguments without violent words or actions.
  • Also, teach your child self-protection skills such as how to stay alert, notice surroundings, walk confidently and how to stand up for themselves verbally.
  • Always provide children with opportunities to talk about bullying, even if you need to be the one to bring the topic up.
  • It’s also important to recognize why bullies do the things that they do. Most are acting out feelings of insecurity, anger, or loneliness. If your child happens to be bully, investigate the problem. Remember that you can also seek help from teachers, school counselors or a child psychologist.

By-line:

This guest post is contributed by Kitty Holman, who writes on the topics of nursing schools.  She welcomes your comments at her email: kitty.holman20@gmail.com.

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