Bullying is a sad reality that has affected many young individuals, particularly those in school. What is more disconcerting about it is that bullying can potentially result in more depressing outcomes such as lowered self-respect, poor academic performance and worse, suicide among young individuals.
It is shocking to see that those who are supposed to be innocent and fragile are those who are able to harm and coerce others. It is even more unfortunate that some children treat others without respect. Educating and empowering bullied children can be a good place to start for those who want to know how to stop a bully. It is common for bullying victims to become bullies themselves since victims are sometimes prone to hurt others.
UK’s Efforts to End Bullying
You can expect a bad tree to produce bad fruit. A generation of bullies can result in a perpetual social crisis that hampers growth and development. The present generation is the backbone of the future so it is imperative to beat bullying now.
The UK government has issued policies to tackle bullying which begins in learning institutions. In addition, the Department of Education has issued guidelines on what schools should do when bullying happens. In its March 2014 release, the DfE strictly recommended that every school should place measures to stop all forms of bullying.
Bullying Inside and Outside Schools
It is already a big leap for schools to be able to stop bullying within their premises. Bullying is of course not confined within the gates and fences of a learning institution. If it were so, bullying would be much easier to control.
There is in fact a much larger community outside schools where bullies and the bullied coexist. An in-depth study on bullying behaviour indicates that abusive conduct and a superiority complex can develop even before a person begins to attend school. This puts the immediate family under the microscope.
Deficiency in the Social System
There is no simple solution to the question, “How can we stop bullying?”. Bullying behaviour is of course not developed overnight so it calls for a much deeper study. A closer look into the issue may highlight shortcomings within the family system and the social system as a whole. However, recognising the root cause of the problem is a good start.
The family being the basic unit of society is mainly responsible for nurturing young individuals to become social assets not social liabilities. However, bullying does not only affect the bullied children and their family members but also everyone around them including neighbours and friends. Every member of the community and not just parents and teachers must get involved in taking steps on how to stop bullying at school and outside school as well.
From Folly to Bully
Being young can be an excuse for having rebellious and foolish ways. This is called the folly of youth. Ignorance and curiosity are inherent among the young often compels children to deviate from what is morally acceptable. This is where adult supervision is needed the most. Children need their guardians to usher them towards maturity.
One example of responsible parenthood is managing the way children use the Internet. While the Internet provides children with educational resources that can be instrumental to their future success, it also provides a platform for exposing young people to cyber crimes and moral corruption. One of the ways on how to stop cyber bullying is responsible Internet use. Social media should be used to make fruitful connections and not harm others.
Grown Ups Must Step Up
Although it is common for youngsters to argue and tease one another, when the demeaning behaviour is perpetually done with the clear intention to dehumanise the other individual, there really is a problem. When this happens, grown ups are expected to make the first move to battle bullying. Grown ups are expected to know how to stop bullying but sometimes this is hardly the case.
Grown ups must step up and lead the way in the battle against bullying. Parents must be actively involved in communal efforts to stop the problem knowing that their children’s safety are at stake. Having a good source of information on how to stop bullying in schools and communities is clearly beneficial. The solution to bullying begins with getting education and then taking the appropriate action.
The Five Bullying Dos
Bullying does exists. It may help a great deal if bullying were given as much emphasis as society gives to other concerns like drug abuse. If people want to know how to stop bullying, they must first recognise that it is real and that its impact to society can be devastating.
There are no shortcuts or simple solutions to complex issues such as bullying. No matter how complicated it may be, bullying can be prevented and stopped. Everyone must do their part as responsible members of society by upholding equality and respect.
- Do Brief Your Child on Bullying
It is not enough for parents or adults take action to beat bullying. Society is made up of not just grownups but also young individuals. Bullying must be a topic that families and schools can tackle freely while bearing in mind that effective solutions may be achieved from thorough discussions.
Discussing the issue with children helps to enlighten and to prepare them on how to best respond when they are in a difficult situation. Parents can shield their children all they want, but the reality of bullying can never be avoided. Sooner or later, children will be exposed to teasing and mockery. Equipping them beforehand helps prevent negative reactions like retaliation.
- Do Look for Bullying Signs
Children tend to be secretive about humiliating encounters so it is difficult to know if your child is being bullied or is bullying others. However, parents ought to know their children better than anyone else. Looking for signs of withdrawal and changes in your children’s behaviour as well as engaging them in an loving discussion encourages young ones to open up to you and trust you.
Not all forms of intimidation can be classified as bullying. As parents, you have to recognise the difference between simple child’s play and bullying. It is considered bullying when there is an explicit intention of undermining the other, when the act is habitual or consistent, or when the bully gets satisfaction from hurting others. People do hurt others without meaning, but the absence of guilt and the unwillingness to correct the mistake makes a breeding ground for bullying. As hard as it may seem, being sorry inhibits a bullying habit.
- Do Know the Applicable Anti-Bullying Laws
The UK government has stressed the gravity of bullying, especially in school systems. Schools are responsible for providing a safe and calm environment where students learn and grow, not fear for their lives. In the effort to tackle bullying further, school staff members are mandated to act upon bullying incidents that happen outside the school premises as long as the incidents are reported to the the school.
It helps to know applicable laws on how to stop bullying in schools. Understanding your rights enables you to better protect your children. Bullies, regardless of their age, must be held accountable for their actions and victims must be given protection at all times.
- Do Discipline Your Bully Child
It is still the main responsibility of parents to restrain their children and correct bad behaviour. The family provides the primary veil of discipline and protection for children. Ignoring bad habits during the first few instances of noticing it could mean that parents are surrendering their rights to discipline and protect their young.
Despite the desire to be independent, children do need their parents’ attention and guidance. Children need their parents to be actively involved in their lives while helping to influence their perspective and personality.
Ignoring and tolerating bad behaviour may do more damage because it may encourage children continue misbehaving. Remember that disciplining your child is one way of showing you love them. It means that you do not want them to lead a life of corruption and shame.
- Do Not Wait for Bullying to Happen
Change can only happen and a problem can only be solved when you take action. Do not wait for your child to experience being bullied or to bully someone. Begin briefing your child what and what not to do when confronted by a bully and when the desire to bully is present.
As always, prevention is better than cure. Bullying incidents are not reported right away and when they do get reported, several bullying instances may have already occurred. Always take a proactive step when learning about how to stop bullying from happening. However, remember that when bullying does happen, there is still hope for it to stop. Report incidents to to school administrators and law enforcement right away.
- Do Not Be a Bystander
If you or your child witness a bullying incident and you do not do anything about it, you are in a position of accountability. You may not have an active part in the bullying but in effect, you are tolerating the act and signaling the perpetrators that what they are doing is acceptable.
On the other hand, parents who do not discipline their bully children are equally guilty. Again, training towards maturity starts at home under the close supervision and deep involvement of parents. Taking action takes courage but it is required if you are trying to stop bullying.
- Do Not Respond to Provocation
When it comes to cyber bullying, it often helps not to do anything at all. Responding to bashes and demeaning comments largely fuels the fire. Aggression only gets worse with every hurtful comment made. Often the best thing to do, particularly when learning about how to stop cyber bullying, is to stay silent. Knowing yourself and taking pride in your individuality allows you to not be affected by the destructive opinions of others.
While silence is key to solving cyber bullying, it is of course a different story when there is physical violence and grave threats involved. You do need to defend yourself when necessary. However, try to avoid contact with bullies. Report bullying incidents right away and do not confront bullies yourself.
- Do Not be Afraid to Get Help
In case that your child has been bullied, encourage them to always ask for outside help. Bullies look down on others but the presence of a higher authority is usually enough to restrain them. Parents may settle the matter within themselves but having a third party to mediate is usually more effective.
Bullied children may experience considerable physical, social, mental, and emotional hardships from the bullying incidents. These difficulties may spread out to other members of the family. That is why bullied children are encouraged to receive Special Educational Needs (SEN) support from schools and local authorities. In addition, bullied children are encouraged to continue attending school and furthering their education.
- Do Not Lose Hope to Stop Bullying
Parents are urged to cooperate with school staff members in the effort to counter bullying. Anti-bullying groups are also formed for the same reason. Today, there are various ways to be actively involved in the fight against bullying.
Rehabilitative support is not only given to bullied children but to the bullies as well. This is to provide them with a fresh start and encourage them to embrace a more respectable lives. Again, these are all very young children who need supervision and guidance.
A grave and pressing social problem such as bullying needs to be addressed quickly. Everyone in the community, from the local authorities down to the parents and their children, have important roles in restraining abusive behaviour and stopping bullying in its tracks. Schools must always be bully-free for it to succeed in providing a conducive environment for learning. In addition, parents have the main responsibility to prevent bullying. The bullying cycle can be stopped and it must be stopped immediately. Every member of society and not just government organizations and schools must do their part when creating a plan for knowing how to stop bullying.
http://www.edutopia.org/blog/stop-bullying-create-upstanders-becki-cohn-vargas, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/292505/supporting_bullied_children_advice.pdf, http://edition.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/10/04/twemlow.sacco.bullying/index.html