It’s an unfortunate fact but kids are bullied every day and the problem is worldwide. One of the ways to combat it is to engage kids against bullying. You can do this by educating them about bullying, by helping them identify bullying tactics, and by informing them of the psychological damage it causes. Once children are aware of the pain it causes this will help them defend victims and avoid stepping into a bully’s role.
What is bullying?
Bullying is action against others that is emotionally harmful and sometimes devastating. These actions are defined as gossiping, fighting, teasing, taunting, and other unfair behavior intended to purposely hurt others. Bullying is repetitive, and it’s not a one-time slip up.
Your children will often copy how you act, and they aren’t usually as tactful as you are. When you gossip and your children are within hearing range, this can send a message that it’s okay to talk about people, when it’s not. You must take precautions and check your behavior to make sure you are not sending mixed signals to your children.
Kids that bullies target.
Bullying is often targeted against children who are perceived as being different. Children who are overweight, disabled or sexually dissimilar seem easy targets. Private and public schools are in an advantageous position to help children. Teaching children to understand how their actions can be perceived as bullying are some of the best ways to prevent it.
Schools are the primary environment where bullying happens. This is why many prevention efforts are focused on schools and their administrators. However, organized team sports such as baseball, basketball, and football also easily set the stage for bullying. Bullying is serious, it’s not normal, and it’s not just a part of growing up.
Kids are bullied everywhere.
While school is where bullying incubates, the actual act is played out in cyberspace through several different social media websites. Tumblr, Ask.Fm, Vine, Snapchat, KiK, and Pheed are just a few social media sites that have replaced Facebook as a “fav.” Your kids can upload their photos instantly and ask anonymous questions. These sites attract fourteen year olds to young adults up to age twenty-nine.
Ask.Fm, a hugely popular European site for children under eighteen, is linked to several teen suicides. And Snapchat has been linked to several harassment cases resulting from teen sexting. Kids should never have private access to smart phones. Parents are responsible for knowing cell-phone passwords and what social media sites their children are involved with. These are preventive measures against bullying. Your children will appreciate your involvement.
Is your child being bullied?
Children who are bullied often don’t tell anyone. Sometimes they don’t know enough to put a specific name on the problem. They may come home from school with stories about disruptions in class or problems during recess. When these stories continue it’s time for you to dig deeper and ask specific questions. If a recurring name surfaces in your child’s conversations such as “Jack kept bothering me today,” or “Jack took my pen and broke it.” Don’t disregard these comments. Jack can be a problem and it’s worth checking this out.
Another red flag is when children suddenly stop talking about their best friend. They have nothing to say about them anymore, after they have been friends all school year. Usually something has changed. It’s worth looking into. Make sure you have a good relationship with your child’s teacher. This way the door is always open to periodically check in and find out what is going on in the classroom on a social level. Other signs are changes in your child’s mood and sleep pattern. Also, when your child is always making excuses to miss school, don’t dismiss this complaint.
There are limited legal solutions to stop this discriminating practice. Bullying rarely falls under the equal-protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which provides remedies against offenses because of race, disability, nationality or sexual orientation. Sack and Salem in their study of why kids bully one another, indicate that they do so largely based on appearance. This can be interpreted by your kids clothing, or his or her physical attributes such as height, weight, and facial structure.
Since bullying predominately happens at school, this is where anti-bullying campaigns will be the most effective. Therefore, soliciting everyone’s help is very important. Teachers and parents must take ownership to develop, with advice from kids against bullying, tactics and techniques to prevent bullying episodes.
Kids are taking bullying personally.
Children are against the practice of bullying and are speaking out. Victims of bullying are some of its best advocates. They know how hurtful it is and their personal stories are some of its best defenses. While teachers and other adults are at the forefront of prevention, children can be advocates against bullying too.
Kids against bullying are in every school.
They care about what happens to their friends. A great way to engage kids is to help them through role playing. By allowing them to be in the victim’s shoes they can relate and sympathize with their peers. When kids know that adults care and are sending messages of love and support their interaction with peers will reflect the same.
Bullying is a crisis that is receiving the attention that it deserves. It requires a zero-tolerance mentality, which must be reiterated and reinforced through verbal and written communication.