Bullying happens mostly among the school-going children aged between 11 and 18 years. A recent study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, shows that more than one child in every four were recent victims of bullying. The most vulnerable victims of bullying were sixth graders. The National Crime Prevention Council states that 74 percent of bullying takes place in schools. However, with the latest rapid technological development, online bullying has taken a new turn due to the increased use of different social media by children and teenagers. Learn about the fight against bullying.
The Fight Against Bullying: Forms of bullying
Bullying can take many forms but the most common ones include:
- Name calling, taunting and teasing
- Spreading rumors and lies
- Excluding a certain child from an activity, such as the popular girls preventing everyone from sitting at their table during lunch time
- Threatening to hurt a child unless they surrender their lunch money or homework
- Inflicting physical harm on a child through slapping or kicking to take away something from them or simply instill fear
- Intimidating a child to do something against their will
- Online bullying involves posting abusive or demeaning messages on their social network page or profile.
The Fight Against Bullying: Effects of bullying
It is very important for parents to take bullying seriously because it is associated with long lasting and severe effects. According to the National Education Association, approximately 160,000 children opt to stay away from school every day to escape from bullying. Understanding the detrimental effects of this vice will help a parent to come up with effective ways to enable their children to fight bullying.
Bullying has negative effects on both the victims and the instigators. Kids who are bullied perform poorly in school, develop a low self-esteem, become depressed, have a higher absenteeism rate, may develop violent behavior as they try to protect themselves or revenge and have a higher probability of committing suicide. On the other hand, the bullies also perform poorly in school, may drink or smoke alcohol in school, are at a higher risk of dropping out and may also commit other serious crimes in the future.
Learn more about the Types of Bullying
How can parents assist in The Fight Against Bullying?
Recognize the signs
The first step that a parent should take to assist their children to fight against bullying is to recognize the warning cues that suggest that all is not well. If your child is no longer enthusiastic about going to school, or doing an activity that they enjoyed in the past, then something is not right. Another telltale sign is the child becoming depressed or having a negative outlook on life. You might also notice that their grades have rapidly dropped or they come home with bruises, cuts or a black eye. Another clue that should not escape your attention as a parent is the vanishing lunch money or other personal items at the end of a school day.
It is important to notice that the aforementioned symptoms can be attributed to other anxieties apart from bullying. Your child will provide the most accurate information, so you must ask them about their school social life. In most cases, a child might be embarrassed to tell you that they are being bullied because they feel you cannot help them out. However, if you talk to your kids often, listen to them and help them with their homework on a daily basis, they may open up more easily.
The Fight Against Bullying: Dealing with Bullying
To effectively help your child fight against bullying, determine the seriousness of the behavior. If the vice is on the low end, such as teasing or saying unkind words, you can advise your child to ignore such a behavior because the world is full of mean people who enjoy demeaning others. By so doing, you teach your children a vital lesson that they need to avoid certain people in life who cause others distress through teasing.
Consequently, if the bullying involves physical harm and threats, you must immediately involve the school. Visit the school and ask about the policies that it has put into place to address the issue of bullying. Ask the school officials what they plan to do to ensure that your child is well protected within the institution. Keep communicating constantly with the school until you are sure the bullying has stopped and it will not happen again. As a parent, you should never encourage your child to fight back the bully as this can result in serious injuries or land them in serious trouble.