What is social bullying ? The website www.stopbullying.gov defines this type of bullying as making a concerted effort to hurt someone’s reputation and/or relationships. Forms of social bullying include convincing others not to make friends with someone, gossiping and spreading rumors, excluding others from a group of friends and/or embarrassing someone in public. Learn below all you need to know about what is social bullying ?
While social bullying is not violent by nature, it can become so. What is more, social bullying can be every bit as damaging as physical bullying. This is particularly true of social bullying that is done online, as the mean comments and/or embarrassing photos are difficult if not impossible to get rid of or ignore.
Unfortunately, social bullying does not get as much attention as physical bullying. While most schools have rules for dealing with children and teenagers who hit, smack, kick and physically harm their peers, many of these same educational institutions do not take measures to put a stop to social bullying and harassment.
How Parents can Deal With Social Bullying
It is important to keep a close eye on your children’s behavior and moods. If your children are suddenly hesitant to or worried about going to school, seem to be agitated and withdrawn and/or are having difficulties eating and sleeping, make it a priority to talk with them and be sure to listen carefully to what they have to say. These symptoms are common among children who are being socially bullied on a regular basis.
If your child is being bullied at school, speak to the teachers and/or principal regarding the incident. While some teachers and principals cannot or will not take actions, others may be willing to step in and address the issue. If you find that your child’s school is overly permissive in allowing social bullies to tease, embarrass and pick on their peers, you may need to consider switching schools.
Help your children understand their inherent worth. Teach children that they are unique and of inestimable value simply because there is no other person on earth quite like them. Children who have a solid self-esteem are less likely to be fazed by social bullies than those who have poor self-esteem. What is more, children who understand their worth are less likely to bully others.
What is Social Bullying Online?
Social bullying online can take place on social networking sites and/or via mobile phones. It involves teasing, gossiping, embarrassing others and making hurtful remarks either behind a person’s back or to his or her face.
Because children do not have the emotional maturity to be careful regarding what they post on social media, watch out for online predators and deal with unkind online comments made by peers, they should not have a Facebook or other social media account until they are 13 years of age. (This is stipulated by Facebook’s terms of service). Even so, parents will want to set down clear guidelines regarding social media usage. Young people should only friend those that they know well, be very careful regarding which photos of themselves and friends/family members they put up online and should never engage in social bullying themselves. Those who do engage in social media should have computer privileges revoked or curtailed. While this may seem extreme, it is important for parents to keep in mind that they can be held legally liable for their children’s actions online.
If a child is being bullied via his or her mobile phone, then change the number and be sure that only trusted friends are given the new number. A child or teenager can also be taught how to block his or her mobile device so that calls from unknown numbers are ignored.
Unfortunately, social bullying is so rampant that it is very likely that a child or teenager will experience it at some point in time. However, parents can minimize the damaging effects of this type of bullying by developing a close relationship with their offspring and helping them have a healthy sense of self-worth. It is also possible for parents to take measures to protect a child who is being socially bullied by speaking to school authorities and/or moving a child to a different school and teaching children how to use social media in a responsible, cautious manner.