For some time now there have been initiatives in place to help reduce the instances of bullying in our schools and other social settings where young people interact. Many of these initiatives have seen great results. Schools, churches, and other organizations have helped raise the awareness level among kids and teenagers. For many years kids and teenagers, and to some degree even teachers and caregivers, simply accepted bullying as a normal part of growing up. However, as bullying has intensified in violence over the last many years, it has become apparent that this is not just a natural part of growing up, but rather a very real and very dangerous threat to the safety and emotional well being of young people. For this reason, anti bullying initiatives have been started at many levels. So, would a Bullying Hotline really help eliminate bullying?
Despite this campaign against bullying, there are still many schools and other organizations which are continuing to see bullying as an ongoing problem. For this cause anti bullying hotlines have been set up across the country.
What is an anti bullying hotline?
This is a service put in place for kids and teenagers to have a means of reaching out to discuss their bullying issues. The hotline is a free phone number that can be contacted at any time by kids or teenagers who are being bullied. Many school systems are not putting in place hotlines for their individual school systems to help them assist their own students with bullying issues. This is an important step in reducing bullying in our schools because individual school systems can work closely with specific teachers who have children or teens in their classes that are being affected by bullying.
Why is Bullying Still a Problem?
If so much is being done to reduce bullying in our schools, why does bullying continue to still be a problem? The reason that bullying continues to be a problem is because young people are being exposed to greater and greater amounts of violence and non-empathetic behaviors in television, movies and video games. In the past, young people were rarely exposed to the media content that they are exposed to today. In many cases an individual would not have even viewed a graphic film until they were well into their late teens or early adulthood. Today, children, very young children are being exposed to material that their minds and emotions are not ready to experience or be exposed to. This early onslaught of graphic material, has a devastating effect on how kids and teens view the world.
Another factor is that not all kids and teens are being taught proper ways to socially interact with one another. Coupled together with exposure to non-empathetic behaviors in media you get a time bomb of confused emotions and lack of empathy. These children take out this undue tension and pressure on the children around them.
What can Parents Do?
National bullying helplines are also in place for parents who want to call to get advice and ideas on how to help their child who may be a victim of bullying or to get advice to help a child who may be a bully. A bully hotline is not just for kids. Many parents are finding themselves at a loss of how to help their child who is bullied or who is a bully. Calling a bully helpline could produce some great ideas and resources for you as a parent. Another step you can take as a parent to help reduce the risk of your child becoming a bully is to greatly limit the amount of violent, or non-empathetic material your child is exposed to through media outlets. This can include television, games, movies, cartoons, and internet material. When your child is exposed to these types of materials use the moment as a teachable moment to point out to your child how that is not the way humans are to interact. Discuss possible consequences of treating others like that.
One reason that bullying continues is because kids and teens do not believe they will actually have to face any kind of consequence for their actions. The people on TV. do not have consequences, so they believe that they will not either. It is very important that you point out to your child on a regular basis what kind of consequences lie in store for people who do certain things.
Another step parents can take to help keep their kids from being a part of the bullying problem is to keep an open line of communication going between you. Kids who feel as if they are a part of the family and are listened to, are far less likely to lash out at other children. Children who are listened to and are given a sense of confidence from their parents are also less likely to become the victims of bullying. If your child knows that they can come and talk to you about anything, then when a bullying situation arises, they will feel safe and confident to share this information with you immediately. The sooner you know about a bullying situation the sooner you can take action.
Helping your own children is not the only way, however, to help in stopping bullying. If you know of other children who are victims of bullying you can pass on the number for national bullying helplines to those kids or the parents of those kids as well. Standing up for others is one of the best ways to combat bullying at all levels.
When Bullying Is Severe
If you think your child has been the victim of severe instances of bullying, you will need to take serious action. Addressing your child’s school is one important first step to ending the bullying. However, if you do not feel satisfied with the results you get from this, there are other ways to address bullying. If you feel that the school has not sufficiently addressed your problem, you may need to go to the school system or the board of education in your community in order to get real results. Some cases of bullying are so severe that they are actually criminal. If you feel your child has been victimized on this level, you should contact local authorities.
It is important to keep records of all of your communications concerning your child’s bullying situation. This way, when you are asked about it the problem you will have documentation of all of the steps you have taken in order to resolve this serious problem for your child.
Do not forget that cyber bullying is also a serious form of bullying that can have devastating effects on kids and teenagers. You can also contact a cyber bullying hotline for help with answers to questions concerning cyber bullying. Many parents do not take cyber bullying as seriously, however, the emotional effects of cyber bullying are sometimes more serious than of other types of bullying. Cyber bullying is a very serious problem because with cyber bullying the bullies can literally follow the victim home every night and continue their bullying tactics. This erodes at the child’s sense of security at home. Do not ignore instances of cyber bullying. There are laws in place to protect people for cyber harassment. Extreme forms of cyber bullying fall under the category. The laws protect children and teens as well as adults.
Contacting a bullying hotline number can give you answers to your questions about cyber bullying and other forms of bullying as well. Many people do not understand the definition of different types of bullying. Understanding all forms of bullying will help you to better protect your child and your family from those who wish to bully them. Information gives you a powerful edge in the ongoing fight against bullying.