A new video on bullying in schools is helping parents and caregivers understand the reality. It is also offering some great advice to deal with it.
Bullying is not a new phenomenon. Children and teens have experienced it for decades. Many parents also consider it an essential rite of passage. However, recent numbers have made everyone, including educators, child psychologists, parents and pediatricians, sit up and take notice. One in seven children in American schools is either a bully or a victim. More than 160,000 kids miss school each day due to fear of physical or emotional harm by a bully. Bullying has also been linked to about 75 percent of all school shootings in recent times. (Source: Make Beats not Beat Downs)
Impact of Bullying
The negative repercussions of bullying are not limited to the victims. The video on bullying in schools will show you that the act impacts the bullies themselves and innocent bystanders as well.
- The victims usually develop low self-esteem, depression and suicidal tendencies. Bullying can have a direct impact on their test scores.
- The bullies tend to get into frequent fights. They may abuse drugs and alcohol at a later stage and are generally unsuccessful at school and college.
- The bystanders get impacted in different ways. Some of them may get fearful. A few may feel guilty about not helping the victim, while others may be tempted to join.
Overall, bullying creates an insecure and negative environment at school. The educators and the students are unable to focus on learning which can lead to poor grades and ratings. (Source: Violence Prevention Works)
Why do some Kids Bully?
It is often difficult to pinpoint a single factor that turns a child into a bully. Psychologists believe that bullying is a culmination of several life experiences. Children with very strict parents or extremely permissible parents may turn into bullies. Parents should love, support and care for their children. They should also teach them that their actions will have consequences. Peers can also influence a child to take up bullying. Some television programs and movies also promote such behavior. Bullying also thrives in schools which do not address the issue effectively.
Types of Bullying
Bullying in schools can occur at several levels.
- Physical – A bully can physically abuse and beat your child.
- Emotional – He or she can taunt, tease and make sexually inappropriate comments.
- Social – He may embarrass your child in front of other kids at school and spread rumors about him.
- Electronic – This is a relatively new phenomenon where bullies attack your child on the Internet via social media, emails and text messages.
Help your Child with a Video on Bullying in Schools
Most children do not tell their parents about bullies at school. However, the video on bullying in schools indicates that you may notice warning signs such as poor grades, social withdrawal, insomnia, change in eating habits, self-destructive behavior, and headaches.
If you suspect that someone is bullying your child:
- Encourage him to talk about the issue. Remain calm and listen to your child without being judgmental. Give your child some time to open up.
- Learn about the actual event and understand your child’s innate response before offering advice.
- Teach your child to ignore the bully and stick to his own friends. Do not encourage your child to retaliate or fight back. Ask him to talk to his teacher or coach instead.
- If someone is bullying your child on the Internet, do not take away his electronic devices. Teach him ways to handle the situation. You may also use software to block certain websites.
- Boost your child’s self-esteem. Focus on his strengths and talents and be supportive at all times. Introducing a new hobby and distracting your child’s mind can also have a positive impact.
You should also record all the details of the act and contact appropriate authorities at school. Check the school’s anti-bullying policy and make sure the staff members are implementing it effectively. (Source: MayoClinic)
It is important to handle bullying promptly and sensitively. Remember that it is not normal and your child does not have to go through this. Bullying exerts physical and psychological damage that extends into adulthood and prevents your child from leading a successful and happy life as an adult. So, the next time you notice something wrong with your child, do not ignore it. Consider bullying as a possible cause and handle it effectively.