– What is bullying? There are three things that a situation needs to be to be bullying:
- It needs to be unfair- not right, not fair and not equal
- It needs to be one-sided – one person or group is trying to hurt another
- It needs to be repeated- this means it doesn’t just happen once and is not an isolated incident.
- There are 4 main types of Bullying:
- Physical: hitting, kicking, pushing, shoving, spitting, kicking, stealing, taking belongings, intimidation
- Verbal: name-calling, insulting, mocking, taunting, teasing, racist remarks, gossip, rumors, threatening
- Indirect/Emotional: excluding from groups, pointing and facial gestures, dirty looks, embarrassing, humiliating
- Cyber Bullying “The Invisible Bullying”: via mobile phone, texting, computer, email, chat rooms, internet, Social Network sites such as: MySpace, Facebook, YouTube
– How do I know if it’s teasing or bullying?
- Good-Natured Teasing
- Playful between BOTH people
- Uses a friendly tone
- Encourages friendships
- Doesn’t lead to physical confrontations
- Sometimes lightens a tense moment
- I Was Only Joking!
- “Can’t you take a joke?” Well now, that all depends. Following up a rude or insulting comment with the phrase “I was only joking”, doesn’t mean it takes away the pain caused to the person we said it to?
- The sting of the hurtful words, even if joking, can have a lasting effect.
- Hurtful Teasing
- Uses angry tone
- Angry body language
- Continues even when distress is evident
- Continues even when the topic is upsetting to others
- Accompanied by “showing off”
– Characteristics of children who bully
- Impulsive, hot-headed, dominant;
- Easily frustrated
- Lack of empathy
- Difficulty following the rules
- View violence in a positive way
People who are bullies as children tend to lead themselves down a dangerous path. They are more likely to :
- Get in frequent fights
- Vandalize property
- Steal property
- Drink alcohol
- Be truant from school
- Drop out of school
- Carry a weapon
Here are some things to keep in mind when approaching a bully situation:
- Kids can be scared to go to an adult and even feel that adult intervention can make the situation worse because it may only bring more harassment from the bully.
- In survey of 14 Massachusetts schools, more than 30 percent of kids believed that adults did little to nothing to be the bullying stop.
- Sometimes the bully can also be a victim. Remember that they are still kids and they need help as well.
- While many people think that bullies are loners, the truth is they usually have an easier time making friends and have at least a small friend group that supports their bullying.
- Kids who bully also tend to have average or above average self-esteem, despite the misconception that they have low self esteem.
- Make it clear that you take bullying seriously and that there is no tolerance for it.
- Talk about rules and expectations for their behavior. Praise and reinforce them for following the rules and use non-physical, non-hostile consequences when they break the rules.
- Observe your child’s activities and behaviors when around other kids. Make sure you know who their friends are and what they do with their free time.
- Encourage social activities that they enjoy outside of school.
- Talk to your child’s teachers, counselors, coaches, or any other adults in their life so you can all work together to solve the problem.
- If the problem persists, consider getting them counseling.
– Teen Lifeline – This is a confidential and free peer to peer hotline where other teens can help you through your tough time. 602-248-TEEN (8336)
– You, as the parent, can also call Teen Lifeline to learn about ways to help your teen if they are a bully.
– You can also find tips online at kidshealth.org