Bullying occurs in schools around the world, and in some places it is increasing rapidly. Bullying in New Zealand schools, according to research and the media, is not one of those areas. Physical bullying is not increasing at all, which is a good report for you and your child. If the youth do not have to be concerned with bullies at school distracting them, they can focus on their studies. Learn about the current status of bullying in Schools of New Zealand.
Bullying Statistics in New Zealand
New Zealand comprises two islands in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, and the entire country has a population of 4.5 million. What is incredible for New Zealanders right now is that 21% of the population are young men and women and children between the ages of 12 and 24, and the literacy rate is over 95 percent. These statistics are amazingly refreshing for any country.
Another amazing statistic is that face to face bullying is not as serious a problem in school bullying in New Zealand as in other countries. The United States, on the other hand, shows that school bullying is on the rise, and in 2013, one in four children were being bullied at school or had been a victim of cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is increasing both in the U.S. and New Zealand with recent research showing that one in nine kids have been “cyber-bullied.”
What Is Bullying in Schools of New Zealand?
The majority of bullying in New Zealand occurs at school with children under the age of 15, and it is important to note that this age is dealing with confused emotions and puberty.
This indicates that their emotions have not yet matured, and the young person who is bullying in New Zealand schools is looking for attention and control in their life. A school bully feels the need to express power and control in some area of their lives, and when they can’t, for whatever reason, bullying other students becomes a way for them to fill the void.
Understanding Bullying in School
Bullying typically begins with verbal abuse or ridicule, and, in recent studies, 77 percent of all kids say they have experienced some sort of verbal altercations or teasing. The problem is that verbal forms of bullying often lead to physical and cyber bullying. School bullying typically means that the bully uses intimidation or coercive behavior to gain control over another child. The bully in school uses a variety of tactics to intimidate their victim, or make them feel less than them.
Bullies at school are missing direction and guidance in their own lives possibly due to absent parents or abuse in the home. They are actively seeking peer approval. Violent bullying is often repeated by bullies over and over because it provides a temporary solution to their emotional problems.
Children, especially teens have insecurities. The solution for a child who is being bullied is to repel the bully and their behaviors by standing up to him/her. Then, the victim should report the incident to an authority figure.
According to the National Centre Against Bullying, there are five different types of bullying behavior.
- Verbal bullying: involves negative words, such as name calling, insults, homophobic or racist slurs, or any words that are used to intentionally hurt someone.
- Physical bullying: hitting, poking, tripping or pushing are all used to hurt and intimidate. Repeatedly damaging someone’s belongings is also considered physical bullying.
- Social bullying: lies, spreading rumors or nasty pranks, including repeated mimicking and deliberate exclusion.
- Psychological bullying involves the repeated, intentional use of words and actions to cause psychological harm, such as intimidation, manipulation and stalking.
- Rates of cyber bullying are growing. This is when technology is used to verbally, socially and psychologically bully. Teens have so much access into the Internet, It can take place on social networking sites, in chat rooms or with emails on iPhones.
Bullying is not:
- Arguments and disagreements between two people
- Individual incidents of social rejection or not liking someone
- Single acts of being cruel or spiteful
- Random acts that appear to be aggression or intimidation
Bullying in New Zealand Schools
As the media reports show rising statistics for bullying in many countries around the world, New Zealand schools are doing something right when it comes to understanding how to prevent bullying in schools. New Zealand schools are at a safer level and they are managing their children more wisely.
Bullying can occur in every age group, and the chance that your child will encounter the behaviors is high, but experts reassure parents in New Zealand that the traditional face-to-face style of physical bullying is not increasing.
It is vital for schools to have policies and strategies set in place to combat bullying because the consequences extend into the communities. Bullying is a controversial subject, so it is vital that it be addressed with effective communication because then it is more likely to be reduced. The National Centre Against Bullying is working to put a program entitled National Safe Schools Framework in all the schools this year.
Here are some significant facts concerning bullying:
- Research studies, commissioned by the federal government, report that one student in four in Australian schools is affected by bullying.
- Approximately 200 million youth are being bullied by their peers around the world according to the 2007 Kandersteg Declaration Against Bullying in Children and Youth.
- Children who were bullied were up to nine times more likely to have suicidal thoughts.
- The Centre for Adolescent Health reports that children who are bullied are three times more likely to show depressive symptoms.
- Boys and girls alike who were frequently bullied developed psychotic symptoms.
- British research has shown that girls who were victims of bullying in their early primary school years fell into a victim’s role when they got older.
- A recent Murdoch Children’s Research Institute study revealed that girls were more likely to be victims of both cyber and traditional bullying.
- The youth that were bullied in school have a 25 percent chance of having a criminal record by age 30.
New Zealand School Bullying Policy
All New Zealand schools have designated strategies to overcome bullying. It is a priority to appropriately resolve any situations related to manipulation, control, intimidation or violence. New Zealand is learning unique ways of combating bullying by implementing policies and strategies in schools as well as educating parents, teachers and children to ensure it is understood that bullying in school should never be tolerated.
The Government is also pledging funds for programs directed at prevention. In the past decade, the word “bully” has become associated with great emotion because of suicides and other disasters. Experts are undertaking new studies in how to deal with bullying at school, what creates a bully and how to prevent bullying. New Zealand knows that parents need appropriate information and resources to help understand and prevent bullying behaviors from developing at home.
Ways Parents Can Deal with Bullying Behaviors Before They Escalate
Talk with your child and explain to him/her that this behavior is unacceptable. It must be nipped in the bud immediately. you must act promptly to make your child understand very clearly that you won’t tolerate it.
Teach your child to express his/her feelings in ways that don’t hurt other people.
Maybe they have bad habits they need to unlearn; teach them better ways of behaving.
Consider how you discipline your child. Don’t use bullying tactics yourself.
Teach your children effective problem-solving skills.
Examine the ways you communicate with your children; Are you being positive or negative?
Create an open atmosphere in their home life. Talk about any anxious or frightened thoughts.
Monitor the type and amount of time they spend on TV, games and the computer, and if it has inappropriate or unnecessary violence. Get their password.
Cyber Bullying in New Zealand Schools
Cyber bullying is the fastest growing form of bullying, and possibly the most difficult to detect and control. Both you and your child can watch for signs that they are being bullied. Signs may be that your child says he/she is losing interest in the computer, and a desire to go to school.
If you discover that your teen is being bullied by a student at the same school, take action; meet with school officials to ask for help in resolving the situation. Don’t allow the bully to continue his/her bullying behaviors.
Cyber bullying is on the rise among school age children. One in 10 kids experience cyber bullying with more social networking happening online. This includes emails, chat rooms, Facebook and My Space mostly delivered through mobile phones. Bullying in schools is not acceptable in any form. Parents ought to be involved with the use of the computer, and play a substantial role in preventing and combating this form of bullying.
Dr Toni Noble is working on a revised National Safe Schools Framework to include cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is just as devastating to those who are targeted, and often leads to total frustration of the victim because there is no visible control. Dr. Noble advises all parents to remain vigilant.