So Who is at Risk for Bullying ?
Anyone can be a target; however, the children who are most at risk for bullying are perceived as being different from their peers in some way. Who is at Risk for Bullying may:
- wear glasses
- be under or overweight
- be of a different ethnic group or social class
- be unusually smart
- be gay or lesbian
- be poor and unable to afford stylish clothes
- be unable to defend themselves
- have low self-esteem
Who is at Risk for Bullying ? Recognizing the Warning Signs
Kids who are being bullied are often too embarrassed or too scared to tell an adult what’s going on. Bystanders are not likely to say anything either because they are usually scared of retaliation or afraid of becoming a target of bullying themselves. Be vigilant and watch out for these tell-tale signs that a child is being bullied.
- unexplained bruises, sores and cuts
- nervousness and anxiousness
- coming home with damaged or missing belongings
- loss of interest in activities
- seeming afraid to go to school or ride the school bus
- frequently complaining of stomachaches or headaches
Who is at Risk for Bullying ? Tips to Help Kids Deal With Being Bullied
Being pushed around is not a rite of passage and it is not something kids should have to put up with. If you know or suspect a child is being bullied, don’t tell him to “man up” and leave him to his own devices. Even if kids don’t appear to be listening, they really do look to parents and caregivers for advice on how to deal with tough situations.
Teach children to assert themselves. When children are being verbally bullied, teach them to look their offenders square in the eyes and ask them to repeat what they just said. This will get the bullies thinking about what they have said, and they will likely back off. If this doesn’t work, encourage your child to ignore the verbal abusing person.
Also, encourage the child to stay out of the way of the verbal attacker. He can take a different route to class or leave a little earlier to avoid the bully.
Physical abuse cannot be tolerated. If a child is being used as a punching bag, report it immediately to the teacher and to the principal. If this does not fix the problem, contact the school superintendent and the school board and request to have the bully removed from the school. If the school board does not respond, go to the local newspaper.